Dhoni moves SC to stay criminal proceedings

Cricket star >Mahendra Singh Dhoni has moved the Supreme Court, challenging a Karnataka High Court decision to refuse to quash criminal proceedings accusing him of deliberately outraging religious sentiments with a visual depiction of him as ‘Lord Vishnu’ in Business Today.

The case is listed for hearing before a Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and R. K. Agarwal on September 14.

After the disputed picture was published in April 2013, several complaints were lodged in various parts of the country against Mr. Dhoni, accusing him of insulting >Hindu religious sentiments. However, most of these complaints were dismissed.

But a Bengaluru court took cognisance of one of these complaints and started proceedings against him under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code, which, if found guilty, attracts imprisonment up to three years or fine or both.

The Karnataka High Court refused to provide any relief to the cricketer, following which Mr. Dhoni was constrained to move the Supreme Court in a special leave petition challenging the High Court’s order declining to hear him under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code for quashing of the criminal proceedings.

In his petition Mr. Dhoni contended that the trial court judge should not have taken cognisance of the complaint under Section 295 A IPC without the previous sanction of the government under Section 196 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Section 196 of the Code deals with 'prosecution for offences against the State and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offence. Under this section, no court shall take cognisance except with the previous sanction of the Central or State governments or the District Magistrate concerned.

The petition termed the criminal complaint a frivolous one, lodged to harass him. He said neither did he pose for the photograph published nor was his permission sought before his face was used in the publication. He asked how he can be accused of an offence which he had neither intention nor knowledge about. He has sought a stay of the trial proceedings and the High Court order till the matter is finally decided by the apex court.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 10:53:37 PM |

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