Anantapur: India's limited overs cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni found himself in a spot of bother on Friday after a non-bailable warrant (NBW) was issued against him for failing to appear before a local court in Andhra Pradesh's Anantpur in a case for hurting religious sentiments for allegedly 'denigrating' a Hindu god by posing as Lord Vishnu on the cover page of a magazine.
Dhoni, who is currently in Australia for an ODI and Twenty20 series from January 12 to 31, has been asked to be present in the Court on February 25 for the hearing of the case filed by VHP activist Y Shyamsunder.
The Indian ODI and Twenty20 captain has been accused of hurting religious sentiments by appearing as Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover photograph which depicted him holding several things including a shoe.
Dhoni has been asked to be present in court on February 25th in the controversial cover case.
MS Dhoni. Pic/ PTI
Dhoni has been accused of ignoring summons from the local court here, an allegation that the star cricketer's lawyer Rajneesh Chopra denied today.
Chopra insisted that the Non Bailable Warrant issued against the wicketkeeper-batsman was "erroneous".
"Mahendra Singh Dhoni has utmost respect for the judiciary but the fact of the matter is that he has personally never received any summons with respect to the present case; therefore the order appears to be erroneous," Dhoni's lawyer said in a statement issued by Rhiti Sports, the company managing Dhoni.
"Even as such, proceedings in a similar matter pending before the Hon'ble District Court of Bengaluru, Karnataka has already been stayed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. In this matter, accordingly we will approach the courts and seek appropriate directions thereto," he added.
In September last year, the Supreme Court stayed the criminal proceedings against Dhoni and also issued notice to social activist Jayakumar Hiremath, who had filed the case against the cricketer.
Dhoni had earlier approached the apex court seeking quashing of a criminal case against him in the Karnataka High Court for allegedly outraging religious sentiments for his portrayal of Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover.
The Karnataka High Court, however, refused to quash the case, prompting Dhoni to file an appeal in the apex court.
Dhoni is currently in Australia to play five One Day International's and three T20Is against the hosts from January 12th to January 31st.