Muzaffarpur: A criminal case was slapped against Indian Cricket Team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh in a court here on Thursday for disrespecting the prestigious Padma Awards.
Senior advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha filed the case against the cricketers under sections 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment for defamation), 503 (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
The petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow, Ojha said.
Dhoni and Harbhajan, who were to be honoured with the Padma Shree by President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on Tuesday, had skipped the function.
Harbhajan, however, has explained why he couldn't attend the ceremony.
"There were a few family commitments, some serious things... that is why I could not go. We had a long tour of New Zealand and got just a few days with our families. People who are criticising me should understand that family issues cannot be ignored," said Harbhajan.
Dismissing the allegations that he was in the Capital for an ad shoot, he said, "The allegation that I was in New Delhi or was shooting for an advertisement instead of attending the Padma award ceremony is completely false...If anyone says that I was in Delhi and proves it, I will stop playing cricket."
However, Dhoni has failed to comment anything on the issue till yet.
Padma Shree, fourth in the hierarchy of civilian awards after Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan, is given to individuals from various fields to recognise their contributions.
thatsCricket (With Inputs From Agencies)