A Mumbai Court on Monday, January 24, discharged Shilpa Shetty, who had been accused of obscenity and indecency in an incident where co-accused Richard Gere had publicly kissed her.
The incident occurred in Rajasthan in 2007 during a promotional event. In Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, three cases were filed against Shilpa in 2007 for publicly kissing the Hollywood star and AIDS awareness campaigner.
Following a review of the complaint that sparked the case, Metropolitan Magistrate Ketaki Chavan concluded that the actress was a victim of the element of accused number one, Richard Gere’s alleged act.
The Magistrate was convinced that the charges against Shilpa Shetty were unjustified after reviewing the police report and documents. As a result, the actress was found not guilty of the charges.
“Not a single element of any of the alleged offence is being satisfied in the complaint. Moreover, none of the papers annexed with the final report discloses act of present accused so as to bring her within the purview of Section 34 of IPC (common intention).” the order observed.
Following the incident, a complaint was filed with a Judicial Magistrate First Class in Mundawar, Rajasthan, requesting that a FIR be registered against Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere, which was granted.
The accused was charged under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 292, 293, and 294 (obscenity), as well as the Information Technology and Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Shilpa Shetty’s plea to transfer the case to Mumbai was allowed by the Supreme Court in 2017, after which the complaint and the transfer case was being heard by the Metropolitan Magistrate at Ballard Pier, Mumbai.
The actress filed for discharge under Section 239 (discharge after considering police report and documents) and Section 245 (discharge after considering evidence) of the Code of Criminal Procedure through Advocate Madhukar Dalvi.
According to Shilpa’s applications, the charge against her is “only that she did not protest when she was kissed by the co-accused, Richard Gere, which by no stretch of the imagination made her a conspirator or perpetrator of the crime.”
Her application under Section 239 was allowed, while the one under 245 was rejected as the summons triable case had no provision for discharge.