Defamation suit by MSD: Zee Media given 10 days to answer questionnaire
MS Dhoni had in 2014 filed a defamation suit seeking Rs 100 crore from Zee Media, IPS officer G Sampath Kumar and a journalist for denigrating his image by linking him with an IPL match-fixing.
CHENNAI: Dismissing an appeal filed by the Zee Media Corporation seeking to strike out the interrogatories served by former cricketer MS Dhoni in connection with a defamation suit, a division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the news media organisation to answer the interrogatories within ten days.
The Zee Media filed an appeal against an order of a single judge who refused to strike out the 17 interrogatories (set of questions to be answered on facts of evidence) raised by MS Dhoni. In 2022, the former Indian captain was allowed by a single judge to take out the interrogatories after finding the written statement filed by Zee Media to be unsatisfactory.
MS Dhoni had in 2014 filed a defamation suit seeking Rs 100 crore from Zee Media, IPS officer G Sampath Kumar and a journalist for denigrating his image by linking him with an IPL match-fixing scandal.
The bench comprising Justices R Mahadevan and Mohammed Shaffiq concurred with the single judge’s specific finding that details and material facts required in the interrogatories were not dealt with in the written statement; further, no ground was made by the Zee Media to set aside the impugned order. “In such a situation, interrogatories have to be necessarily answered by the appellant (Zee Media),” said an order passed by the Judges on Thursday.
Referring to Zee Media’s application to strike out the interrogatories, the Bench said the single judge’s order has to be understood in the scheme of Rule 7 (of CPC) which “permits an adversary to take out an application to strike out the interrogatory, if it is unreasonable, vexatious or prolix, oppressive, unnecessary or scandalous.”
The bench ordered, “In view of the foregoing, this original side appeal stands dismissed. The appellant is directed to answer the interrogatories within a period of ten days.”