The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the criminal proceedings against Indian cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for allegedly hurting religious sentiments after being portrayed as Hindu deity Vishnu on a magazine cover. An Andhra Pradesh court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him in the matter in January.
In the April 2013 issue of Business Today, Dhoni was depicted as Vishnu holding the products that he endorsed. Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Shyam Sunder had filed a petition against him and the magazine in the Anantpur district court, claiming that the portrayal had hurt Hindu sentiments. Dhoni's manager Arun Pandey had said they were "very surprised" that warrants had been issued.
The Karnataka High Court, acting on a petition filed by activist Jayakumar Hiremath, had said last year, "A celebrity and a cricketer like Dhoni should know the consequences of hurting religious sentiments of people...These celebrities only sign ads without any responsibility. Their aim is to earn easy money without considering the problems it may create."
This was the controversial magazine cover: