India news March 18, 2014

Dhoni moves Madras High Court over fixing allegations

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Madras High Court has restrained Zee Media Corporation Limited, an Indian television conglomerate, and News Nation Network Private Limited, another private television news channel, from airing any interviews or news related to fixing allegations against MS Dhoni. The interim order was passed on Tuesday after the India captain sought Rs 100 crore from four respondents, including police officer G Sampath Kumar, as damages for tarnishing his image.

In his affidavit to the court, Dhoni stated his hard-earned reputation was at risk from unverified reports. Dhoni had earlier issued notices to ZMCL, Zee News editor and business head Sudhir Chaudhary, Kumar and News Nation. Justice S Tamilvanan, in his interim order, stated, "I am of the view that there is a prima facie case and the balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiff. Hence, interim injunction granted for a period of two weeks," the judge said in his order after perusing Dhoni's affidavit.*

In his affidavit, Dhoni, represented by the firm of BCCI lawyer PR Raman, accused all four respondents of intentionally projecting Dhoni as an object of hate and ridicule, thereby maligning his image in the eyes of cricket lovers, especially fans of Chennai Super Kings.

This is the first time Dhoni, albeit through his lawyers, has reacted in any manner to the IPL scandal. He had been silent at the time, even after the arrest of Super Kings official and the BCCI president N Srinivasan¹s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.

The reports surfaced following the submission of a sealed envelope - said to contain names of high-profile players allegedly involved in corrupt practices - to the Supreme Court by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee investigating the IPL fixing case. Kumar, who had deposed before the Mudgal committee, had alleged in an interview to various news channels that Dhoni's name had been mentioned by an alleged bookie during interrogation with regard to fixing the game between Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals on May 12, 2013. The charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police against Meiyappan and 21 others also mentioned that fixing allegations had surfaced about the same match.

While establishing Meiyappan as a CSK official, the Mudgal committee in its report last month noted that Dhoni, along with Srinivasan and officials of India Cements took the stand that "Mr Meiyappan, had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of Super Kings and was a mere cricket enthusiast supporting CSK".

* - March 18, 2014, 1615 GMT - story was updated with the interim injunction