Sports

Defamation Plea Filed By Ex-Business Partners Not Maintainable: MS Dhoni To Delhi High Court

MS Dhoni has been sued for defamation by his former business partner Mihir Diwakar and Diwakar's wife Soumya Das

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MS Dhoni is the skipper of Chennai Super Kings Photo: BCCI
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Former Team India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday submitted before the Delhi High Court that a defamation plea filed against him by his two ex-business partners was not maintainable. (More Cricket News)

The High Court refused to pass any interim order, at this stage, against Dhoni and several media houses and social media platforms to injunct them from posting or publishing any alleged false defamatory content against the plaintiffs on any platform which could tarnish their goodwill and reputation.

Plaintiffs and former business partners Mihir Diwakar and his wife Soumya Das have approached the high court seeking a permanent injunction and damages against Dhoni, several social media platforms and media houses and thereby restraining them from making, publishing, circulating per se defamatory, ex facie false and malicious statements against them.

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Dhoni’s counsel appeared before the court and submitted that the plaint against him was not maintainable and he has just filed a case against the couple in a Ranchi court.

His counsel further said that he has not received the copy of the plaint and related documents and was only informed by the high court registry about filing of the case.

To this, the court asked the plaintiffs’ counsel to supply a complete set of documents to Dhoni’s counsel within three days.

The lawyer appearing for the plaintiffs submitted that he only wanted a fair reporting by the media and claimed the media reporting against his clients was not fair as they have already been labelled as thugs and thieves.

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Advocate Siddhant Kumar, representing one of the media houses, also argued that the plea was not maintainable and placed an earlier judgment to contend that unless and until specific allegations are set out against each of the defendants, including media houses, no case will be made out.

He also raised the issue of lack of territorial jurisdiction of this court to deal with the matter.

Justice Singh asked the plaintiffs’ counsel to take necessary steps to set out allegations against the defendants and listed the matter for further hearing on April 3.

The high court had earlier asked its registry to inform Dhoni about filing of the defamation plea against him by his two former business partners.

The plaintiffs’ counsel had earlier said a press conference was held on behalf of the cricketer levelling allegations against the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs have sought that the defendants be restrained from damaging the reputation of the plaintiffs in relation to the false allegations allegedly made by Dhoni relating to purported illegal gains of Rs 15 crore from him and breach of a 2017 contract.

Recently, Dhoni filed a criminal case against Diwakar and Das claiming they have allegedly duped him of around Rs 16 crore by not honouring a contract to establish cricket academies, according to his lawyer.

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The case has been filed in a lower court in Ranchi against two directors of Aarka Sports, a sports management company.

Dhoni's representatives had said they have filed a criminal case on behalf of the cricketer in a competent court in Ranchi against Aarka Sports directors Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Das under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

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