India Entertainment
Shilpa moves apex court over Gere kiss
May 14, 2007 - 8:02:48 PM

New Delhi, May 14 - Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Monday moved the Supreme Court, seeking either annulment or transfer to a Mumbai court of all the criminal proceedings initiated against her by various courts in the country for the controversial on-stage pecks Hollywood star Richard Gere planted on her cheek during a public show here.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan listed Shilpa's plea for hearing on Tuesday.

In her plea, the actress submitted that three different subordinate courts at Jaipur and Mundwar in Rajasthan and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh have initiated proceedings against her for the same incident.

The Gere kiss during an AIDS awareness programme in the capital last month had triggered strong protests in several cities across the country.

In her petition, Shilpa said Gere Foundation was working on a programme to create awareness about the dreaded Human Immunodeficency Virus - and Acquired Immuno Deficency Syndrome - crisis in Asia.

She said it had also started the Heroes Project in India to mobilise various celebrities to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

Shilpa said she had been invited by the Heroes Project to address a meeting at Delhi on April 15 to create awareness among truck drivers about HIV/AIDS.

At the function, Gere, while reliving a moment from his Hollywood movie 'Shall We Dance' - hugged and kissed her on the cheek, she said, adding that this was meant to be a spoof from the said movie.

This was incident was repeatedly telecast on various television channels, triggering a controversy and leading people to file complaints in lower courts in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Shilpa said the Mundawar court in Rajasthan on April 20 ordered investigation into the episode and barred Gere from leaving the country.

On April 26, the Jaipur court issued summons to her and an arrest warrant against Richard Gere, while the Ghaziabad court issued summons to her on May 1, said Shilpa in her petition.

She contended that the complaints were an abuse of the legal process and had been filed only to harass and make her run from pillar to post and damage her career and reputation.

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