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SC grants relief to MS Dhoni in case over portrayal as Lord Vishnu

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NEW DELHI: Ace cricketer M S Dhoni got a stay from the Supreme Court on criminal proceedings initiated against him for hurting religious sentiments for being portrayed as Lord Vishnu in a magazine cover. 

 

The apex court bunched his petition with plea of TV Today group head Aroon Purie who had also moved the court in the same case. The court had earlier stayed proceeding against Purie also. He was named in complaint for being editor-in-chief of Business Today, which published Dhoni's photo. 

 

The Special Leave Petition was against an order of the Karnataka High Court, which had refused to quash the criminal proceedings pending against him before a trial court in Bengaluru that was slated for today.

 

The cricketer pleaded that the complaint filed against him was frivolous and the criminal proceedings needed to be quashed as it was filed just to harass him in the case.

 

The High Court had said, "A celebrity and a cricketer like Dhoni should know the consequences of hurting religious sentiments of people. He should have known the consequences of doing such ads. These celebrities are signing ads without any responsibility. Their aim is to earn easy money without considering the problems it may create."

 

The complaint, filed by social activist Jayakumar Hiremath, had alleged that Dhoni was seen on the cover of a business magazine as Lord Vishnu, holding several things, including a shoe in his hands.

 

Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by Hiremath, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate had registered 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 of the IPC.

 

Dhoni had moved the High Court when summons were issued by the Magistrate to appear before him.

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