March 14, 2008 / 11:58 AM / 10 years ago

India court suspends charges against Richard Gere

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s Supreme Court suspended on Friday legal proceedings against Richard Gere, who faced obscenity charges for publicly kissing Bollyood star Shilpa Shetty last year.

Actor Richard Gere (L) kisses Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty during an AIDS awareness program amongst truck drivers in New Delhi April 15, 2007. India's Supreme Court suspended on Friday legal proceedings against Gere, who faced obscenity charges for the public kiss. REUTERS/Tanushree Punwani

Gere made headlines when he arched over and kissed Shilpa Shetty, winner of the British reality television show “Celebrity Big Brother,” several times on the cheek at an anti-AIDS show in New Delhi.

Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and Justice R. V. Raveendran stayed the arrest warrants against Gere and granted permission for him to travel to and from India.

The court criticized the complainant for his “moral policing” and observed, “such complaints are publicity hunting. You are bringing a bad name to this country.”

Similar legal proceedings against Shetty were suspended last year.

A devout Buddhist, Gere is involved with charities dealing with AIDS and orphans in India and often visits the country.

Reporting by R.Venkataraman; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Jerry Norton

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