An Anantpur court issued a non-bailable warrant against skipper of India ODI team Mahendra Singh Dhoni on 8 January. Reason: Dhoni’s photo was morphed as Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover.
According to media reports, Dhoni has been asked to appear before the court in person on February 25. At present, the skipper is in Australia to play 5 ODIs and 3 T20s against the hosts from January 12. The tour ends on January 31.
It may be noted that Jayakumar Hiremath, a social activist, claimed Dhoni had hurt Hindu religious sentiments in April 2013 for being on the cover of Business Today as Lord Vishnu holding a number of things. After the complaint, a case was registered under section 295 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Following this, several cases were filed against Dhoni for belittling the god. In August 2015 after taking up the case, the Karnataka High Court had observed: “A celebrity and a cricketer like Dhoni should know the result of hurting religious sentiments. He should have known the outcome of doing such advertisements.”
Dhoni, in his defense, had said he did not pose as the god. “I have not posed for the picture which was published in the magazine on April 14, 2013 nor have I received remuneration or money for the news article or for usage of my picture.”
In the same case, the Supreme Court stayed criminal proceedings against Dhoni in September last year.