New Delhi: Richard Gere denounced a small right-wing minority in India whose complaints and protests led to a judge issuing an arrest warrant against the Hollywood star for violating the country’s strict public obscenity laws.
Gere won support on 27April from lawyers and legal experts in India who slammed the judge’s order, saying it made India a laughing stock. The judge also called for the arrest of Bollywood Actress Shilpa Shetty.
Judge Dinesh Gupta issued the warrants on 26April in the city of Jaipur after a local citizen filed a complaint charging that a public kiss Gere gave to Shetty at an AIDS awareness event offended local sensibilities.
“There is a very small right-wing, very conservative political party in India and they are the moral police who do this kind of thing quite often,” Gere told Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”
Gere said he was confident the issue would be sorted out. “I don’t know that any one has actually gone to jail just like that. There has to be a process with a reputable court before a person can be convicted of public obscenity where he/she may face up to three months in prison, a fine, or both.
“The order is unsustainable and makes us look ridiculous,” India’s former attorney general Soli Sorabjee told the media, adding that magistrates should not act like Taliban’s moral police.