A court in Andhra Pradesh issued a bailable arrest warrant against Indian cricket team captain for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of a community.
The warrant came a day before Dhoni-led Indian team left the country for their long tour to England.
A local court in Anantapur issued the arrest warrant as Dhoni did not appear in the court despite three summons served in the past. It directed police to present Dhoni in the court July 16.
The case relates to a picture on the cover of a magazine.
A leading business magazine in its April 2013 edition had carried the picture of Dhoni portrayed as a Vishnu with a sub title "God of Big Deals" and holding products he endorsed, including a shoe, which according to a local Andhra leader, hurt the sentiments of the community.
Y. Shyam Sunder, a local leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), had filed a petition in the court in February this year alleging that the cricketer hurt the sentiments of Hindus by denigrating a Hindu god.
The summons issued by the court to Dhoni on three occasions were returned. The court, which took up the hearing Tuesday, issued the arrest warrant.
Similar petitions against Dhoni were filed in Delhi, Pune and other cities.