India's supreme court has temporarily suspended all legal proceedings against Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty after their controversial Kiss row.

An arrest warrant for Hollywood legend Gere was issued after a lawyer claimed that his kiss on Shetty's cheek violated public obscenity laws.

The pair embraced at an Aids awareness programme earlier in April, sparking mass protests in a country where open shows of affection are frowned upon.

Protesters burned effigies of Gere on The Streets of Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi while shouting "down with Gere".

On Monday Shetty, a Bollywood actress and winner of this year's Celebrity Big Brother, petitioned the supreme court to suspend legal proceedings and for the case to be transferred to Mumbai, where she lives.

Her lawyer, Anand Grover, told the Reuters news agency: "It is an unusual case. No case is made out... the allegation is that she did not resist."

It is the second time this year that Shetty has been embroiled in controversy; during her time in the Big Brother house she became the centre of a race row after contestants Jade Goody, Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd were accused of racist bullying.

15/05/2007 12:58:43