New Delhi: In what could be a big relief for India’s ODI skipper, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed criminal proceedings against MS Dhoni for allegedly hurting religious sentiments for being portrayed as Lord Vishnu.
Dhoni had moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay of the criminal proceedings which was initiated against him for a cover photo published in a business magazine in 2013 showing him as Lord Vishnu.
Dhoni contended that no court can take cognizance of a complaint filed under IPC Section 295 without the previous sanction of the state government concerned and in this case no such sanction was obtained and yet the CMM proceeded to hear the complaint.
He said he was not guilty of an offence under Section 295 as he neither gave a pose nor was aware of such publication in the magazine. He came to know about the picture only after it was published in the magazine.
Contending that there was no mens rea (criminal intention) he said he had not hurt the religious sentiments of any one. Dhoni said the complaint was frivolous and intended to harass him. He prayed for quashing the complaint and an interim stay of all further proceedings till the disposal of the appeal.
A complaint was filed in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court in Bengaluru alleging that by portraying Dhoni as Lord Vishnu, the magazine as well as the former Test captain has hurt the religious sentiments of the people.