Dhoni challenges defamation suit by ex-biz partners in Delhi HC

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New Delhi | Contesting the defamation suit by two ex-business partners Mihir Diwakar and his wife Soumya Das, former Team India cricket captain M.S. Dhoni on Monday told the Delhi High Court that the plea was not maintainable and that he had filed a case against the couple in a Ranchi court.

The duo has sought a permanent injunction and damages against Dhoni aiming to prevent the dissemination of alleged defamatory statements regarding purported illegal gains of Rs 15 crore and a breach of a 2017 contract.

Last time, the court had directed its registry to inform Dhoni about the filing of the defamation case against him after noting that he has not been served with the plea by the plaintiffs and deemed it appropriate to issue intimation to him.

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The plaint is also against various major platforms such as X, Google, YouTube, Meta (Facebook), and several news outlets to seek that they take down allegedly defamatory articles and posts against them.

Dhoni's counsel on Monday informed the court that they have not yet received the copy of the plaint.

Advocate Siddhant Kumar, representing a media house, also argued that the plea was not maintainable and cited a previous judgement, stressing the need for specific allegations against each defendant.

The duo's counsel advocated for fair reporting by the media, contending that the current coverage had unfairly labelled his clients as thugs and thieves.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh declined to issue any interim orders against Dhoni, and other defendants asking for a complete set of documents.

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On concerns about the lack of territorial jurisdiction, the judge asked the plaintiffs' counsel to set out clear allegations against the defendants.

Now, the next hearing is posted for April 3.

Dhoni had recently filed a criminal case against Diwakar and Das, accusing them of duping him of approximately Rs 16 crore by not honouring a contract to establish cricket academies. He has allegedly filed a criminal case in a court in Ranchi against two directors of Aarka Sports, a sports management company.

The contract was entered into between Dhoni and Aarka Sports Management, a company owned by Diwakar and Das.

The contract was for establishing cricket academies in India and globally.

Diwakar claims that Dhoni's lawyer conducted a press conference on January 6 making damaging allegations against him and his wife. The ex-business partners argue that these allegations, widely reported in the media, have tarnished Diwakar's image.

IANS

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