A jaipur court has summoned actress Shilpa Shetty and Hollywood star Richard Gere over a kiss they shared at an AIDS awareness function in New Delhi on April 15.
“The court has called Shilpa through a summons, while arrest warrants have been issued for Gere, as he might flee from India,” Poonam Chand Bhandari, the lawyer and petitioner in the matter, told HT on Thursday.
The responsibility to ensure compliance of warrants against Gere has been entrusted to Jaipur SP (HQ), while the summons for Shilpa is to be served through the metropolitan magistrate of Mumbai, Bhandari said.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (No. 4) Dinesh Chand Gupta has fixed May 5 for the next hearing. The judge is likely to pronounce charges against the film stars on that day, after which the trial shall follow.
Bhandari had last week filed a writ petition accusing Gere and Shilpa of publicly indulging in an “obscene act”. The court had first sought video footage of the act from a news channel and examined it.
The judicial magistrate noted on the order that there was prima facie evidence against the accused for committing an offence under IPC Section 294 (committing obscene act in a public place to the annoyance of others).
Bhandari argued that by publicly indulging in the “obscene act” during the programme, the film stars had caused “annoyance” to him.
“The accused (Shetty and Gere) committed the act deliberately with an intention to cause annoyance to the audience and to assault Indian culture,” Bhandari alleged.