A West Bengal court has issued an arrest warrant against Mohammed Shami in a case of domestic violence, filed by his wife Hasin Jahan. Shami, who turned 29 today, has been asked by the court to surrender within 15 days of his return from the West Indies.
In March last year, Jahan had filed criminal charges against Shami, including attempt to murder, cruelty, and violence.
The chargesheet had been filed under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code - relating to a woman being subjected to cruelty by her husband or his family - by the detective branch of Kolkata Police this March.
According to Salim Rahman, Shami's lawyer, the chargesheet did not contain any of the serious criminal offences Jahan had pressed against the player and his family. Rahman said Shami was among the various people who deposed before the police finalised the chargesheet.
"The police chargesheet says there was no attempt to murder, no poisoning - all serious charges filed by Hasin Jahan," Rahman said. "Also the allegations against (Jahan's) mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law of conspiring against her were discharged [dismissed] by the police."
Jahan's lawyer Anirban Guha Thakurta said the onus was now on Shami to fight the charge or choose not to. "It's in the court notice that Shami is playing abroad and so it was giving him a 15-day window to surrender," Guha Thakurta was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. "It is written in the court order that if he fails to appear, then law will take its own course. The warrant against Shami would be kept in abeyance for 15 days."
Rahman said that the arrest warrant would come into play subject to Shami opting to challenge the court's order. "The court issued a warrant against Shami saying he would need to surrender 15 days upon returning to India. The warrant will come into effect only if Shami does not take a legal recourse (challenging the order)."
The case is unlikely to affect Shami's professional career at the moment. The BCCI is believed to be treating it as a domestic matter and will wait for the final court order.