Saturday, April 28, 2007
Shilpa Shetty Kiss, Arrest Warrant, Video
New Delhi, April 27 : A deep trouble is brewing for the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Dinesh Gupta after his controversial gagging order against Hollywood actor and AIDS activist Richard Gere invited ire of a number of eminent jurists and legal experts of the country.
The former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee has termed additional chief judicial magistrate Dinesh Gupta's orders similar to moral policing done by Taliban in Afghanistan, as reported in a local daily.
"Magistrates should not behave like Taliban moral police. The order is unsustainable and makes us look ridiculous," said Soli Sorabjee, the former Attorney General.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Jaipur city Dinesh Gupta had issued the warrants while acting on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The controversial kiss episode took place at an AIDS event on April 15, which was organised by philanthropist Parmeshwar Godrej.
Magistrate, Dinesh Gupta, reacting to the complaint filed by advocate Poonam Chand Bhandari, watched a Cassette Disc of an AIDS awareness function in Delhi at which Gere hugged and gave actor Shilpa Shetty a peck, as shown by a TV channel, to pronounce that the act was "sexually erotic" and "indecent".
Magistrate Gupta found the incident that took place in New Delhi as objectionable and in violation of section 294 and 34 of the IPC. Section 294 says, "Whoever to the annoyance of others does any obscene act in any public place shall be punished with imprisonment of three months or with a fine or both."
Ms. Shetty had defended Gere after protests broke out across the city, probably, provoked by some TV channels' repeated telecast of the incident throughout the day. She had called the episode as "done in good humour".
Some legal experts have termed the order as an act of "indecency" whereas others have questioned the jurisprudence of terming a consensual kiss between two adults as "offense".
"The arrest warrant is contrary to all judicial norms. A consensual kiss between two adults can never be an offence," said K.T.S Tulsi, a senior advocate.
"This order is an act of judicial indecency. This is only for cheap publicity and the magistrate and the lawyer should be restrained," Dushyant Dave, a senior advocate.
Quashing of order by the superior court has also been demanded to prevent a mockery of judiciary in public.
"Are we a banana republic that such orders are passed and that too at the very first instance? The High Court should quash the order," said Mukul Rohtagi, a senior advocate.
"I wish such alacrity is shown by the courts while trying serious sexual offences like rape," said Aparna Bhatt, an advocate.
Fans of Shilpa Shetty had expressed their ire over the incident, saying that in a conservative society like India, such a public display of affection was tantamount to vulgarity.
The event was organised to reach out to hundreds of truckers aimed at highlighting the importance of safe sex.
Shilpa Shetty Kiss Video!