MS Dhoni Faces Defamation Suit from Former Business Partners

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MS Dhoni Faces Defamation Suit from Former Business Partners

| Updated: January 17, 2024 19:34

MS Dhoni Faces Defamation Suit from Former Business Partners

Former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni is currently embroiled in a legal battle as his ex-business partners, Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Das, have filed a defamation case against him in the Delhi High Court. The case, scheduled for a hearing on January 18, adds another layer to the ongoing legal disputes between the parties involved.

The legal saga began when Dhoni filed a criminal case against Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Das, accusing them of duping him of over ₹15 crore. The accused, directors of the sports management company ‘Aarka Sports,’ had initially approached Dhoni in 2017 to establish cricket academies in India and abroad under the cricketer’s name.

According to the agreement, Dhoni was to receive the full franchise fee, with profits to be shared on a 70:30 basis between him and the business partners. However, issues arose when the accused allegedly set up academies without informing Dhoni and failed to make payments as per the agreement. Despite legal notices served by Dhoni, the partners continued their activities, leading to the filing of the criminal case under Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

Now, in a turn of events, Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Das have approached the Delhi High Court seeking a permanent injunction and damages against Dhoni, along with several social media platforms and media houses. Their plea requests the court to restrain Dhoni from making, publishing, or circulating defamatory statements against them.

The crux of their argument revolves around the alleged false allegations made by Dhoni, damaging their reputation regarding the purported illegal gains of ₹15 crores and the breach of the 2017 contract. The defamation plea is scheduled to be heard on January 18 before Justice Prathiba M Singh.

Dhoni’s lawyer, Dayanand Singh, stated that despite revoking Dhoni’s authority in August 2021, the accused continued setting up academies in multiple locations. Legal notices were served twice, accusing them of violating the agreement norms and duping MS Dhoni of more than ₹15 crore.

Simant Lohani, authorized by Dhoni, recorded his statement before the first-class judicial magistrate court, adding more weight to the criminal case. The legal battle unveils a complex web of accusations and counter-accusations between former business partners who were once friends.

The defamation case against MS Dhoni adds a new chapter to the ongoing legal disputes, highlighting the complexities surrounding business relationships in the world of sports management. As the hearing approaches, it remains to be seen how the court will adjudicate on the matter, determining the validity of the defamation claims and the impact on the reputations of the parties involved.

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