court on Tuesday temporarily suspended an arrest warrant
for actor Richard Gere, who was wanted for allegedly
breaking public obscenity laws by kissing Bollywood
actress Shilpa Shetty.
suspended all legal proceedings against the pair until it
decides on the proper jurisdiction for the case.
Gere embraced and
kissed Shetty on her cheek at a public AIDS awareness
event in New Delhi last month, prompting Hindu hard-liners
to allege the pair had offended the sensibilities of
India's traditionally conservative culture.
The case has
grabbed headlines, although the allegations have failed to
stir any wider outrage among Indians, most of whom have
responded with mocking bemusement or utter
apologized for any offense he may have caused. But he also
said the whole controversy was manufactured by a small
hard-line political party.
Gere, who left
shortly after the kiss, is a frequent visitor to India,
promoting health issues and the cause of Tibetan exiles. The
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has his
headquarters in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala.
Shetty, 31, a
well-known actress in India, became an international star
after her appearance on the British reality show
Celebrity Big Brother. A fellow contestant, Jade
Goody, sparked international headlines by allegedly making
racist comments to Shetty. The comments sparked public
outrage in Britain and India, and Shetty went on to
win the competition. (AP)