A sessions court here on Monday dismissed a petition filed against a magistrate’s order discharging Shilpa Shetty in the 2007 obscenity case over Hollywood star Richard Gere kissing her at a public event.
The revision application against the magistrate court’s order was dismissed by additional sessions judge S C Jadhav. The detailed order, however, was not available as yet.
The kissing incident had taken place during an AIDS awareness programme held in Rajasthan and had hit national headlines, with some segments calling it obscene and an affront to the country’s culture.
A case was registered in Rajasthan against Gere and Shetty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act. This case was transferred to Mumbai on the orders of the Supreme Court in 2017.
In January 2022, the magistrate’s court discharged Shetty after observing that she seemed to be the victim of Gere’s act.
On the allegation that she did not protest when she was kissed, the magistrate’s court had said “this by no stretch of the imagination makes her a conspirator or perpetrator of any crime”.
However, the prosecution filed a revision application before the sessions court claiming the magistrate “erred in discharging the accused” and that the order was “illegal, bad in law and against the principle of natural justice” and deserves to be set aside.
As per the prosecution, prima-facie a case was made out to frame charges against the accused and that the magistrate ought to have taken into consideration that act of the accused/respondent to kiss or allow to be kissed in public definitely came within the purview of Obscene Act.
Shetty’s response, filed through advocate Prashant Patil, had said the magistrate court’s order was “well-reasoned and based upon the guidelines of the Supreme Court” and, hence, the revision application needs to be dismissed with heavy costs.
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