Not maintainable: MS Dhoni to Delhi HC over defamation plea by ex-business partners

Dhoni had lodged a criminal case at the Ranchi Civil Court against former business partners Mihir Diwakar and Soma Das of Arka Sports and Management Limited for allegedly cheating him of Rs 15 crore.
Former Indian Cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Former Indian Cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.File photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Former Indian Cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday submitted before the Delhi High Court that a defamation plea filed against him by his two former business partners was not maintainable.

Justice Prathiba M Singh, while dealing with the defamation case filed by Dhoni's former business partners Mihir Diwakar and his wife Soumya Das who were seeking a permanent injunction and damages against Dhoni and others, refused to restrain media outlets at this juncture.

During the hearing, Dhoni’s counsel submitted that the plaint against his client was not maintainable as he just filed a case against the couple in a Ranchi court.

Also, a copy of the documents in the present case was not received, and was only informed by the high court registry about the filing of the case, he added.

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

Dhoni had lodged a criminal case at the Ranchi Civil Court against his former business partners Mihir Diwakar and Soma Das of Arka Sports and Management Limited for allegedly cheating him of Rs 15 crore.

As per Diwakars' suit in the high court, the defendants (Dhoni and others) be restrained from damaging the reputation of the plaintiffs for the false allegations allegedly made by them relating to purported illegal gains of Rs 15 crores from him and breach of a 2017 contract.

Counsel, representing Diwakar, submitted that the media reports were not fair as he has already been labeled as a thug and thief.

Justice Singh asked the counsel to specify the allegations against each media outlet.

Diwakars had also sought to restrain several social media platforms including Google, YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Meta and other media houses from making, publishing, and circulating per se defamatory, ex-facie false and malicious statements against them.

The criminal case filed by Dhoni was in relation to the two directors of Aarka Sports, a sports management company under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

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