Mahendra Singh Dhoni gets Supreme Court relief in ‘Lord Vishnu on cover’ case

Mahendra Singh Dhoni found himself getting embroiled in a controversy after a criminal complaint was filed against him in an Andhra Pradesh court for allegedly hurting religious sentiments

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2017 19:21 IST
Mahendra Singh Dhoni,Supreme Court,Lord Vishnu
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is currently playing for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 Indian Premier League.(Hindustan Times)

In a judgement that would have come as a relief to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Supreme Court on Thursday quashed a criminal complaint lodged against the former India skipper in an Andhra Pradesh trial court for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by depicting himself as Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover.

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The apex court also quashed the criminal complaint against the editor of the magazine and said that the offence under section 295A (hurting religious sentiments) of the IPC is not made out against them as they did not maliciously hurt the religious sentiments of the complainant.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar said, “It would be a travesty of justice” if the cricketer and the co-accused editor are prosecuted in the case.

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The instant complaint was lodged against Mahendra Singh Dhoni and others at a trial court in Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.

The apex court had on September 5 last year quashed a similar case lodged against Dhoni and others in Karnataka and set aside the High Court order which had refused to stall the proceedings against them.

It had also said the trial court in Karnataka did not follow the due procedure in summoning the cricketer and others in the case.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni had filed the Special Leave Petition challenging the Karnataka High Court order.

The complaint had alleged that Dhoni was seen on the cover of the magazine as Lord Vishnu, holding several things, including a shoe in his hands.

Taking cognisance of the complaint, the trial court in Karnataka had directed registration of a case against Dhoni under section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) along with 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

Later, Dhoni was directed to appear before the court after which he moved the high court against the summons issued against him.

First Published: Apr 20, 2017 17:27 IST