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Liz-Arun in a soup for breaking customs

world Updated: Apr 10, 2007 17:18 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

A new twist has been added to the row over the Liz Hurley-Arun Nayar wedding with news that a legal case has been initiated against them on the ground that their marriage in Rajasthan broke Hindu customs.

Many British Asians here likened the post-marriage developments to popular Indian television serials -- only in this case the 'villain' is seen to be Vinod Nayar, Liz's father-in-law.

Vinod Nayar, who evoked a strong reaction from Liz about his recent comments against her and for cutting of all ties with Arun, is reported to be willing to testify against the couple in the legal case.

Vinod had accused Liz of pandering to commercial interests of Hello! magazine, which had signed a 2 million pounds deal with the couple for exclusive access to the March wedding. The deal is likely to be used as evidence against the couple, reports here say.

The Daily Mail quoted prosecuting lawyer HM Saraswat as saying Tuesday: "An arrest warrant could be issued for Arun and Liz as soon as the prosecution has made its case - either because they are summoned to give evidence or they have been found guilty.

"He (Vinod) contacted me and wants to get some help regarding this case. He wants to disclose some important facts. Vinod Nayar told me that when Arun Nayar and Liz Hurley came to the marriage mandap (marriage place), Arun Nayar left his footwear outside the mandap but Liz Hurley refused to remove her footwear.

"When we worship we must remove our shoes because we pray to god and at that time shoes should be removed. Our intention is to prove that the procedures adopted by both the accused for their marriage is against our Hindu rites.

"We have our own religious beliefs, including that the bride and bridegroom must behave soberly, and in this case they have both taken drinks. Pictures of them kissing in Hello! magazine is against our culture also. We are using the Hello! pictures to prove our case."

The case is reported to be based on section 295 A of the Indian Penal code, which deals with the intention to outrage the feelings of Hindus by insulting their religious and ritualistic beliefs.

According to Saraswat, Vinod Nayar has offered to testify against the couple with written evidence. Among the complaints against the newly-weds are that they drank alcohol before the marriage. It is also alleged that Liz Hurley showed off excess flesh with her choice of attire.

Saraswat added: "In our religion the bride must wear the proper dress covering her body. In this case Liz Hurley shows her body, which is against our culture and against our beliefs."

In an earlier court hearing, Saraswat reportedly accused the couple of "utilising the Hindu marriage to spread Christianity".

He told a court in Jodhpur: "This is the first case in India where a couple already married has gone through another marriage. The couple has been, through their act, trying to canvass for the spread of Christianity and utilising the Hindu marriage they have hurt the people's sentiments."