Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra Government to reply to a plea filed by actress Shilpa Shetty, seeking quashing of the 2007 obscenity case. The incident had occurred during a charitable event held in Rajasthan where Hollywood actor Richard Gere kissed Ms Shetty.
Justice RG Avachat also asked Advocate Poonam Chand Bhandari, who had originally filed the complaint in Rajasthan, to reply within four weeks. Ms Shetty’s Advocate Madhukar Dalvi argued that the video of the event clearly shows that his client had no intention of doing any obscene act. The event’s objective was to spread awareness about AIDS. It was given a bad light by some disgruntled people as celebrities were involved, added Mr Dalvi.
Discharge request for plea under section 245 pending
After the incident, a complaint was filed before the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Mundawar, Rajasthan seeking registration of a first information report (FIR) against both the actors. Subsequently, an FIR was registered under sections 292, 293, 294 (obscenity) of the Indian Penal Code, Information Technology Act and Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Ms Shetty had approached the Supreme Court praying that the case be transferred to Mumbai, where she resides. The plea was accepted and the case was transferred to the Metropolitan Magistrate at Ballard Pier.
She then filed two applications seeking discharge under section 239 (discharge after considering police report and documents) and section 245 (discharge after considering evidence) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), respectively.
The magistrate allowed her discharge under Section 239. However, her plea under section 245 was rejected as there was no provision for discharge in the summons triable case.
Ms Shetty has approached the HC challenging this rejection.