SC to hear Gere's petition after two weeks

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (UNI) The Supreme Court today told Hollywood actor Richard Gere, who had publicly hugged and kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty during an anti-AIDS programme in Delhi on April 15, 2007, that his petition will be heard after two weeks.

Gere's counsel contended before the court that this was the application for stay of the arrest warrant issued by the Judicial Magistrate, Jaipur, on April 26 last year against the actor.

Gere's petition was mentioned for an urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal.

Gere, a US citizen is heading the 'Gere Foundation' involved in anti-HIV positive and AIDS programme.

The applicant had also sought the transfer of the Jaipur case to the Mumbai court.

After the incident, which took place at a programme in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, Delhi, several criminal complaints were filed at various places in India against Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere for indulging in obscenity at public place and thereby creating public nuisance.

The applicant, Gere, had also prayed to the apex court to grant him permission to leave India and come back to the country and then again leave the country for the US.

According to him, the trial court had issued directions to him not to leave India without prior permission of the court, when he had already left the country and was out of India.

Gere is expected to come back to India in March this year to attend another anti-AIDS function in the country.

Shilpa had already filed a petition in the apex court seeking transfer of all the criminal complaints pending against her in different parts of the country to Mumbai.

UNI AKS/SC SBC ND1554

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