Delhi High Court Seeks Clarity in Defamation Case: Dhoni’s Business Partner Asked for Specific Allegations

Delhi High Court Seeks Specific Allegations in Dhoni’s Defamation Case: A Detailed Overview

In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has directed cricketer MS Dhoni’s former business partner, Mihir Diwakar, and his wife Soumya Das, to provide specific allegations against media houses accused of defaming them after Dhoni filed a cheating complaint. Justice Prathiba Prathiba M Singh passed the order, emphasizing the need for clarity in the allegations.

Advocate Siddhant Kumar, representing news agency ANI, argued that the platform reported the filing of Dhoni’s complaint without engaging in defamatory practices. The defense claimed that the defamation case might not be maintainable in Delhi High Court, as the events in question transpired in Ranchi. The court has adjourned the case to April 3.

Diwakar and Das approached the High Court seeking to restrain Dhoni from making defamatory allegations related to an alleged breach of a 2017 contract between Dhoni and their company, Aarka Sports Management. The contract aimed to establish cricket academies in India and globally.

The plaintiffs alleged that Dhoni and his representatives defamed them by accusing them of duping Dhoni of nearly ₹15 crores. The suit contends that, even before any substantive finding in court, Dhoni’s lawyer, Dayanand Sharma, conducted a press conference on January 6, 2024, making damaging allegations against Diwakar and Das. These allegations were widely reported in the media, tarnishing the plaintiffs’ image.

Senior Advocate Satvik Verma, representing Diwakar and Das, argued against news platforms that pronounced his clients guilty before any legal judgment. The plaintiffs seek a direction to restrain Dhoni from making defamatory statements and requests major social media and news platforms to remove allegedly defamatory content.

Dhoni had previously filed a criminal case in Ranchi against Diwakar and Das for alleged contract violation. The criminal complaint includes charges under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using a forged document or electronic record as genuine), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

In this legal tussle, both parties are navigating the complexities of defamation, contract disputes, and criminal allegations. The Delhi High Court’s recent direction emphasizes the importance of clarity in presenting specific allegations, setting the stage for further legal proceedings.

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