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NCW extends support Shilpa Shetty

Friday, June 30, 2006 

New Delhi (UNI): Actor Shilpa Shetty, embroiled in a obscenity case in Madurai, today approached the National Commission for Women (NCW), seeking its support in dealing with the issue. Shilpa's spokesperson met Commission chairperson Girija Vyas and gave her a memorandum in this regard, a NCW official said. The official said the actor has sought ''support'' in dealing with the issue. However, the official said the matter is in court and the Commission will study the memorandum before commenting on it.

A Madurai-based lawyer had filed the case against Shilpa, Reema and Murugan, the editor of Tamil Murasu over a controversial picture. The photograph, a freeze-frame shot, was from her super-hit Kannada film Auto Shankar, released last year with 'universal viewing' certificate. The picture, which appeared in hoardings, was taken from the censored version of the film, and was later reproduced by Tamil Murasu, an eveninger. Shilpa had rejected the charges, saying she is a responsible citizen who would not do anything to offend people's sensibilities. The actor had said she had not taken part in any photo-shoot for the picture in question and neither has she given anyone permission to use such a picture, taken by pausing a sequence from the film.

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 superhit Kannada film Auto Shankar, which was approved by the Censor Board for universal viewing.

According to Mr Bhagwagar, chairperson of NCW Dr Girija Vyas said, '' 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. Mr Bhagwagar reiterated that Shilpa had not received any summons. He also added that besides the fact that the picture did not 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 given undue national importance to this frivolous case. This tarnished Shilpa Shetty's clean image. Ms Shetty is not only hurt over the case filed against her, but is also feeling targeted, hassled and victimised by it. She is a responsible actress and citizen and would never participate in anything crude,'' Mr Bhagwagar added. Dale Bhagwagar in a memorandum on behalf of MS Shetty, gave details of the case to the NCW and said the Madurai advocate 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', he added.

Ms Shetty 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. The memorandum also took objection to media misreporting on the case. It has been reported in the media that Ms Shetty received summons from the court in Madurai. She 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. ''I, on behalf of Shilpa Shetty, am making 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 dignity and protect her rights,'' Mr Bhagwagar said.

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