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Not maintainable, says Dhoni on defamation suit filed by his Ex-Business partners in Delhi HC

New Delhi: Former Indian Cricket Team MS Dhoni through his counsel submitted before the Delhi High Court that the defamation suit filed by two ex-business partners against him is not maintainable.
During the hearing on Monday, counsel representing Dhoni submitted that the suit is not maintainable against me.
Recently Dhoni's former Business partners Mihir Diwakar and his wife Saumya Das have filed a suit for the issuance of directions to restrain him from publishing any defamatory and malicious statements against them alleging that the duo illegally gained Rs.15 crores from the cricketer.
The suit has been also filed against various social media platforms, Google, YouTube and several media houses, web portals etc.
Appearing for a Media Organisation, Advocate Sidhant Kunar also submitted before the bench that the defamation suit filed was not maintainable before the Delhi High Court since all the events about the complaint happened at Ranchi. And media has just reported about the filing of suit by MS Dhoni against his ex-business partners in Ranchi only.
Noting the submissions, the Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh, listed the matter for April 3, 2024 and asked the Plaintiffs' counsel to set out specific allegations against media houses who allegedly defamed the Plaintiffs.
The suit stated that plaintiffs are reputable businesspeople with an untarnished reputation and are well respected by contemporaries and industry peers. The Plaintiffs hold the unblemished, untarnished and impeccable reputation of being honest and upright citizens. In addition, Plaintiff Mihir Diwakar holds a reputation as a sportsperson having represented the country internationally as he played 39 first-class between 1999 and 2009. He was also part of India's squad for the 2000 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
The suit stated that Defendant MS Dhoni was a close friend and business partner of the Plaintiffs, however, recently their friendship underwent misunderstanding as a result of certain disputes regarding the Memorandum of Understanding and Letter of Authorization dated May 17, 2017.
In addition, as a result of the said dispute, MS Dhoni issued a legal notice dated 04.02.2023 to the Plaintiffs wherein it was alleged that the Plaintiffs had committed a breach of the agreement between the parties.
It is a matter of record to note that no allegation of cheating of Rs.15 crores was made by the Defendant against the Plaintiffs in the said Legal Notice, stated the suit.
The said Legal Notice dated 04.02.2023 was also aptly replied to by the Plaintiffs vide their Reply notice dated March 02, 2023. Now, the Defendant MS Dhoni through a Power of Attorney holder Seemant Lohani has filed a complaint dated October 27, 2023, before the court of Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi at Jharkhand anaying the Plaintiffs as accused and claiming that the Plaintiffs cheated the Defendant to the tune of Rs. 15 Crores.
The said allegations are made without any basis and evidence, with the sole intention to tarnish and malign the reputation of the Plaintiffs. The allegations made against the Plaintiffs are wild, false, baseless, vindictive, malicious and unfounded. This is the first time that the Defendant has claimed such an amount against the Plaintiffs. The allegations made by Defendant against the Plaintiffs are per se defamatory, ex facie false and without any basis whatsoever, as stated in the suit.

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