Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has now moved to the Madras High Court and filed a criminal contempt of court plea against Indian Police Service (IPS) officer G. Sampath Kumar for allegedly making objectionable remarks against the Supreme Court and the High Court while filing a written statement in a Rs 100 crore defamation suit filed against the official by the cricketer for taking his name in the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scam.
Justice P.N. Prakash and R.M.T. Tika Raman and senior advocate PR Raman were present in the court on Friday for arguments in this matter. But due to paucity of time, the judge could not hear the case. The petition was listed after Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram gave consent on 7 July as well as dismissed a petition seeking reconsideration of the grant of consent by the IPS officer.
Dhoni files criminal contempt of court petition before Madras HC
The petition is likely to be listed for hearing on Tuesday (November 8) as it was not taken up for hearing on Friday, November 4. This is a new development in this case which dates back to 2014 when Dhoni filed a civil suit to restrict Sampath Kumar from making any statement linking Dhoni to spot-fixing or match-fixing. Significantly, Sampath Kumar was the then Inspector General of Police.
In his affidavit, Mr. Dhoni said he had filed a suit for damages against a television channel and the IPS officer on March 18, 2014, and obtained an interim injunction. However, only in late 2021, the IPS officer had chosen to record his written statement in the suit. “Upon perusing the statement, I found that there are scandalous and contumacious statements,” said Dhoni and urged the court to punish the officer for criminal contempt.
He claimed that Mr. Kumar had accused the Supreme Court of “diverting its attention from the rule of law” while dealing with a report submitted in a sealed cover regarding the issue of betting. Similarly, the IPS officer had also claimed that the cricketer’s sole purpose of registering a case in the Madras High Court is to obtain a gag order and said that the senior counsel’s choice “explains the conspiracy behind the plaintiffs”.
After reading the written statement, A-G was fully convinced that the arguments had the effect of defaming the court proceedings by making unreasonable allegations. A-G, while agreeing to pursue the criminal contempt, wrote further stating that “it is a conspiracy to damage control by the cartel by gagging the voices are malicious. The above statement is an insinuation that the High Court is also in the cartel.”
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