STING EFFECT: 'Celebs targeted for money'

Do they have a right to privacy? He even stripped

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 11:13 IST

Being a public figure is not an easy ballgame. It has its own occupational hazards. For starters, you are always under public scrutiny! Now, this is pretty evident with the rise in the number of sting operations, be it on Shakti Kapoor, Aman Verma, Salman Khan or the latest one dragging siren Bipasha Basu and politician Amar Singhwho are accused of talking dirty with each other.

People from all sections in the society are debatingon just one issue - Do celebrities have a right to privacy or not?

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court recently put a hold on sting journalism that has given celebrities andother public figures a reason to smile. Always considered as soft targets by the media, the Bollywood hot shots are more optimistic about this order than any other.

Shakti Kapoor, once caught on a spy cam askingforsexual favours from a struggling actress, says, "I think the order by the SC has come a little late but better late than never. I think now the Supreme Court has stood up to ensure that we too have our right to privacy. Being a public figure doesn't mean that whatever we do, it will become the subject of public investigation. I have been severely affected when the sting was launched against me just to malign my reputation."

"In my opinion when any such CD comes into light, it should be first submitted in the court and then let the court decide what its fate should be. Just to make few bucks, celebrities are targeted and their personal life is put on public platform. I am happy that our judicial system has finally given us some reason to feel happy," says Shakti.

Not even a week ago, Bollywood's sex goddess Bipasha Basu's tape conversation with Amar Singh created furore. However, the actress denied any such conversation with the politician. In fact, she even claimed that she has never spoken to Singh. "I am deeply shocked by this slanderous report. It is nothing short of outrageous. I have never had a telephone conversation with Amar Singh. The report is clearly malicious and I will explore legal options," Bipasha was quoted as saying.

According to Salman Khan's lawyer, Dipesh Mehta: "A trend was setting that the more you breach the privacy of a public figure, the more viewership you will get. Due to this, the respect for one's private life was losing meaning. I think Supreme Court's order is going to have a far reaching effect now onwards."

Even Aman Verma, who too was a victim of the sting, welcomes this order when he says, "This is the best step to ensure an individual's fundamental right irrespective of the fact that he or she is a celebrity or a commoner."

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 10:44 IST