National Commission for Women pledges support to Shilpa Shetty

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The National Commission for Women (NCW) has pledged complete support to actress Shilpa Shetty in the ‘obscenity case’ filed against her by an advocate in Madurai.

The actress’s spokesperson and publicist Dale Bhagwagar, who submitted a memorandum to the NCW in New Delhi on the actress’s behalf, informed that Shilpa was currently in Bangkok shooting for Anil Sharma’s Apne .

The case was filed in connection with a photograph of the actress which appeared in a Tamil magazine called ‘Tamil Murasu’. The photo is actually a freeze-frame shot (taken by pausing the film) from her super hit Kannada film Auto Shankar, which was approved by the Censor Board for universal viewing.

Dr Girija Vyas, chairperson of NCW said, “The case has been misdirected at Shilpa Shetty. When the Censor Board has cleared her film for public viewing, where does the question of obscenity arise?”

“Ms Sharmila Tagore, being the chief of the Censor Board, should also come forth in Shilpa’s support. In fact, all self-respecting women of India should,” she added.

Bhagwagar reiterated that Shilpa had not received any summons. He also added that apart from the picture not being one to offend sensibilities, Shilpa had neither posed for it, nor had given anyone permission to publish it.

“There has been indiscriminate misreporting in the media, which has been giving undue national importance to this frivolous case. This has been tarnishing Shilpa Shetty’s clean image. Shilpa is not only hurt over such a case filed against her, but is also feeling targeted, hassled and victimized by it. She is a responsible actress and citizen and would never participate in anything crude,” Bhagwagar added.

ATTACHED: A Copy of the Memorandum

MEMORANDUM

Dale Bhagwagar,

262, ‘Girnar’,

Oshiwara Park,

Oshiwara,

Andheri (W),

Mumbai – 400 102.

Dated: June 29, 2006

To:

The Most Honorable Chairperson, Dr Girija Vyas

And Members of the ‘National Commission for Women’,

4, Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Marg,

New Delhi-110002.

Subject: An urgent appeal to National Commission for Women (NCW) to help

film actress Shilpa Shetty for harassment caused by

a frivolous case put up against her.

Dear Madam & Members,

I write to you on behalf of my client Shilpa Shetty, for whom I am the spokesperson and publicist. Since the matter is legal and subjudice, Shilpa, on her behalf, has requested me to bring the case to your kind attention, hoping to get support and help from your esteemed Commission.

The case against Shilpa Shetty

A case alleging obscenity has been filed against Shilpa Shetty in a Magistrate Court in Madurai, by a local advocate Mr T.Dakshinamoorthy. He has filed this case questioning a photograph of hers. The photograph in question is a freeze-frame shot (one taken by pausing the film reel) from her recent superhit Kannada film ‘Auto Shankar’ which co-starred southern-hearthrob Upendra.

Origin of this photograph

We have learnt that this photo was used by the makers from the ‘censored’ version of the movie ( which has been approved for universal viewing), for promotion purposes on publicity hoardings. From here, it was lifted by a Tamil eveninger called ‘Tamil Murasu’, referring to which, the case has been filed by the said advocate in Madurai.

Shilpa has not posed for the photograph in question

As mentioned earlier, the picture in question is a freeze-frame shot from her film. I would like to state here that this is NOT a photo-shoot picture for which Shilpa has ‘posed’.

Shilpa hasn’t given anyone permission to use a freeze-frame picture

In the first place, a case should not have been filed on Shilpa, as she has not partaken in any photo-shoot for the picture in question, neither has she given anyone permission to use such a picture, taken by pausing a sequence from the film.

Case is misdirected at Shilpa

I would like to ask, how someone can hold an actor responsible for something which has been passed by the censors. If someone does not agree with what they (the Censor Board) have passed, it should be taken up with the Censor Board or the Producer, rather that targeting the actor in person. Shilpa feels that the case is MISDIRECTED at her.

Not obscene

From what we have seen of the picture in question, it is quite a simple regular film picture which cannot be termed as one to offend sensibilities . This ‘so-called’ obscene picture hardly shows anything but Shilpa Shetty’s navel.

Using her name to get mileage

We suspect that the said local advocate from Madurai, might be using her name and celebrity status to gain mileage for himself in his hometown. Shilpa is being made a scapegoat, paying the price for being a celebrity, and that too, on an issue which is as frivolous as terming a simple and decent photograph as “obscene”.

Shilpa out of the country

Shilpa has been regularly shooting for her films off late and has been in and out of the country. Currently too, she is in Bangkok, shooting for Anil Sharma’s film ‘Apne’.

Media misreporting

Meanwhile there has been a lot of misreporting in the Media (Print, Television and on the Internet) about this case. It has been misreported in the media that Shilpa has received summons from the said court in Madurai. Shilpa has NOT received any summons. There have also been several reports in the Media throughout the country, saying that there is a non-bailable warrant has been issued against Shilpa Shetty. On verifying the matter with the court, Shilpa’s lawyer in Madurai has informed that it is very much a bailable warrant which has been issued by the court. While Shilpa’s legal team is working on the case, such indiscriminate misreporting has been tarnishing her clean image .

Coming from Madurai

Most of these incorrect reports have been originating from Madurai and inspite of Shilpa humbly requesting the media through me, to please verify all facts before splashing them in news, the speculation and malicious incorrect reports continue to trickle in by the day.

Targetted, hassled, victimized

Shilpa is not only hurt over such a case filed against her, but is also feeling targeted, hassled and victimized by such a case . Shilpa Shetty is a responsible actress and citizen and would never participate in anything crude.

Supporter of social causes

Moreover, Shilpa has been a constant supporter of social causes, including AIDS awareness, women empowerment and other social issues. Her dignity and image are unnecessarily being tarnished by such a case.

An urgent appeal

I, on behalf of Shilpa Shetty, make an urgent appeal to you Ms Chairperson and all the Members of your renowned association to please take up the matter and help Shilpa Shetty live a life with her rights protected, and with her head held up high with dignity.

Sincerely,

Sd/-

Dale Bhagwagar

Spokesperson and Publicist to Shilpa Shetty