The Karnataka High Court was on 10 August critical of former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a case filed against him for allegedly "denigrating" a Hindu god as it decried tendency of celebrities signing ads just for money without giving a thought to the consequences.
"A celebrity and a cricketer like Dhoni should know the consequences of hurting the religious sentiments of people. He should have known the consequences of doing such ads," Justice AN Venugopal Gowda said in his oral observation.
The complainant, Jayakumar Hiremath, a social activist, had alleged that Dhoni is seen on the cover of a business magazine as Lord Vishnu, holding several things, including a shoe in his hands.
During the hearing, Justice Gowda said the celebrities are signing ads just for money without giving a thought to the consequences. "These celebrities are only signing ads without any responsibility. Their aim is to earn easy money without considering the problems it may create," he added.
Advocate for the petitioner (Dhoni) countered the submissions made by the prosecution, saying that he has not taken any money.
In response, Justice Gowda directed Dhoni to file an affidavit declaring that he had not taken money for appearing on the cover page of the magazine
The court posted the matter to August 17.
Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by Hiremath, the Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) had registered a case under section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) along with 34 of Indian Penal Code against Dhoni.
Later, the ACMM issued summons to Dhoni to appear before the court, which he did not and instead moved the High Court against its direction.