In 2007, Shilpa Shetty was accused of obscenity and indecency after Hollywood star Richard Gere, a co-accused in this case, twirled Shetty in his arms, arched her over, and planted three pecks on the cheek at an AIDS awareness event in Rajasthan.
And, now after 15 years, a metropolitan magistrate court at Ballard Pier has discharged actor Shilpa Shetty from the criminal case that was originally filed against her in 2007 in Alwar, Rajasthan.
While discharging Shilpa Shetty, the magistrate Ketaki M Chavan clearly mentioned that the actor was the victim of the alleged act of Richard Gere. In her statement, the magistrate said:
“I pursued record, especially the complaint which has given rise to case in hand. On kind reading of said complaint, it seems that the present accused i.e. Shilpa Shetty is the victim of the alleged act of accused No 1. Not a single element of any of the alleged offense is being satisfied in the complaint,”
The magistrate further added:
“Thus, after considering police report and documents sent with it under section 173 of CrPC, after giving the prosecution and accused an opportunity of being heard, I am satisfied that charge against present accused i.e. Shilpa Shetty is groundless,”
A complaint was filed before the judicial magistrate in Mundawar in Rajasthan seeking registration of offence against both the actors.
Later a case was registered under IPC sections 292, 293, 294 for doing obscene acts in public and under the Information Technology act and Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
Shilpa Shetty had filed a petition to transfer all the cases registered against her to Mumbai which was allowed by the Supreme Court, and all the complaints were transferred to Mumbai. She had also filed a discharge plea through her counsel, advocate Madhukar Dalvi.
In her plea, Shilpa mentioned that she did not protest when she was kissed by Richard Gere, but this by no stretch of imagination made her a conspirator or perpetrator of any crime. Hence, the complaint filed against her was baseless and frivolous.
The judge accepted the actor’s contention and discharged her. While many came forward to congratulate Shilpa, there were few who mentioned how it took 15 years to seek justice.