HC tells Dhoni to file affidavit in magazine cover photo case

HC tells Dhoni to file affidavit in magazine cover photo case

The High Court on Monday directed cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni to file an affidavit stating that he had not received any remuneration for a cover page photo of Business Today, where he is depicted as Lord Vishnu with six hands and holding all the products that he endorses.

Dhoni had filed a petition before the High Court, seeking directions to quash a private complaint by Jayakumar Hiremath who had contended that Dhoni had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by holding a branded shoe in one of his hands, while being depicted as Lord Vishnu on the cover page.

Dharmapal, Hiremath’s advocate, said that the complaint had been booked under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which talks about deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs.

The cricketer was to appear before the court of the 9th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on Monday, where the judge orally directed to issue warrant against Dhoni to appear before the court. However, Dhoni filed a criminal petition before the High Court, which granted him exemption from appearing only for a day. The magistrate court adjourned the next hearing to August 18.

Sanction from Centre
Dhoni’s advocate Rohith B J contended that before booking any person under Section 295A, there was a need to get sanction from the central government. While hearing the matter, Justice A N Venugopala Gowda came down heavily on the petitioner, stating that having a face value of more than Rs 100 crore, such celebrity cricketers should be more aware while being depicted in the public domain. Such acts are only hurting people’s religious sentiments, which should be avoided. The bench adjourned the hearing to August 17.

 

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