A surprising turn of events took place for Indian actress Shilpa Shetty, who had been booked under multiple sections in a 16-year-old case, as an Indian metropolitan magistrate discharged the star from a criminal revision application filed by the state of Maharashtra for Mundawar Alwar Police Station, Rajasthan, and MRA Marg Police Station, Mumbai.
The dismissal came after a Mumbai court declined a petition filed against a magistrate's order dissertating Shilpa Shetty over Richard Gere kissing her at a public event. According to media outlets, SC Jadhav, additional sessions judge, denied the MRA Marg police’s appeal against the magistrate court’s ruling.
In 2007, the Baazigar actress was roped into a controversy over a stint with American activist Richard Gere where Gere planted a kiss on the Main Khiladi Tu Anari actress's cheeks during an AIDS awareness workshop in Rajasthan to emphasize that HIV cannot be transmitted through kissing. Following this, a complaint was filed against Gere and Shetty, in Rajasthan's Alwar, under sections 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, section 67 of the Information Technology Act, and sections 292, 293, and 294 of the Indian Criminal Code.
The two actors' stint led to widespread protests across India, with many people considering it disrespectful to Indian culture. The Sahasa Veerudu Sagara Kanya actress claimed that the complaint had been filed against her to "gain cheap publicity" and that there was no material to charge her with any of the sections she was booked under—292 (sale of obscene books), 293 (sale of obscene objects) and 294 (obscene acts and songs) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
The Rishtey actress's lawyer Prashant Patil claimed that the only allegation against her was that she did not protest against Gere's kiss. Patil sought a dismissal of the appeal filed against his client's discharge in the case. Shetty responded to the application that she was being made a "victim of malicious proceedings and harassment." Patil also stated that the case had been pending for too long and there was no concrete evidence of obscenity on Shetty's part. On Tuesday, the Mumbai sessions court dismissed the criminal revision filed by the state, ending the 16-year-old case.
According to Indian news media, the Sessions Judge, SC Jadhav, passed the order on Monday and said, "Criminal revision stands dismissed and disposed of accordingly."
On the work front, Shetty will next be seen in an action-packed avatar in Rohit Shetty's Indian Police Force featuring Siddharth Malhotra and Vivek Oberoi in lead roles. Shetty also signed up for KD- The Devil also starring Dhruva Sarja, V Ravichandran, and Sanjay Dutt.
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