‘Defamation Duel': MS Dhoni Faces Legal Action Over Contract Dispute

Mainstream
17-Jan-2024
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Cricketer and former Indian cricket team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is now entangled in a defamation suit filed by his former business partners, Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Das, over allegations of breach of a 2017 contract for establishing cricket academies. The legal dispute unfolds with Dhoni's ex-partners seeking a court order to restrain him and his representatives from making defamatory statements about them.

The lawsuit contends that Dhoni and his associates accused Diwakar and Das of duping the cricketer of nearly ₹15 crore by allegedly failing to fulfill the terms of the contract. The legal battle escalated after Dhoni's lawyer, Dayanand Sharma, conducted a press conference on January 6, 2024, making public allegations against the business partners even before a court ruling on the matter.

Mihir Diwakar, a former cricketer representing India at the Under-19 World Cup in 2000, claims that the premature allegations have tarnished his image, prompting the defamation suit. The legal action aims to secure a court directive preventing Dhoni and his representatives from making further defamatory statements.

Additionally, Diwakar and Das seek court orders for major social media and online platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), Google, YouTube, Meta (Facebook), and various news outlets, to take down articles and posts they deem defamatory.

The defamation suit is scheduled for hearing before Justice Prathiba M Singh on January 18, adding a new chapter to the ongoing legal dispute between Dhoni and his former business partners. Dhoni had previously filed a criminal case in Ranchi against Diwakar and Das, accusing them of violating the 2017 contract for running cricket academies and sports complexes globally under Dhoni's name. The criminal complaint includes charges such as criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery, and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

As the legal saga unfolds, both parties await the court's decisions on their respective claims and counterclaims.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University