Indian court issues arrest warrant for Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (File)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (File)

Hyderabad - A court in southern India has issued an arrest warrant for one-day international captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni over a magazine cover depicting him as a Hindu god.

The court in Andhra Pradesh state granted the non-bailable warrant on Friday saying skipper Dhoni failed to answer repeated summons in the case, brought by a Hindu nationalist accusing him of hurting religious sentiments.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) member filed the complaint in 2013 after Business Today magazine ran a drawing portraying Dhoni as Hindu god Vishnu holding various products representing his wide-ranging endorsement deals.

"Dhoni was depicted as holding shoes, Lays chips, Pepsi," Gopal Rao, a lawyer for petitioner Yerraguntla Shyamsundar, told AFP. "Mr Shyamsundar filed a case as it hurt sentiments of Hindus.

"The court took a serious view of (his) absence and issued the warrants," he added.

However, Dhoni's manager denied receiving any summons.

"Dhoni was never served with the summons at home nor received. I am very surprised that warrants have been issued," Arun Pandey told AFP.

The next date of hearing has been scheduled for February 25, a week before the T20 World Cup in India.

The Supreme Court in 2014 had stayed criminal proceedings against the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, who is currently in Australia to play in a series of limited-over international matches.

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