Zee TV on Tuesday rebutted the allegations in the defamation civil suit filed by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Madras High Court, where it has been accused of telecasting "malicious" news about the cricketer. The Madras High Court on Tuesday restrained Zee News and News Nation channels from telecasting any news linking Dhoni with the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and fixing scam.
The interim order, effective for two weeks, was passed by Justice S Tamilvanan on a defamation suit filed by Dhoni claiming Rs 100 crore damages from the Zee Media Corporation for allegedly telecasting "malicious" news that he was involved in betting, spot and match-fixing of IPL matches. (Also read: Don't reveal players' names, BCCI pleads Supreme Court)
The news channel, however, maintained that it has not telecast or shown any footage or dialogue to malign the image of Dhoni. The channel clarified that it had telecast the story that was based on Vindu Dara Singh and IPS officer Sampat Kumar's statements during the sting operation which was telecast on February 24 and 28, 2014 respectively by Zee Media Corporation.
"Zee Media Corporation Limited as a responsible news channel has ideated the story based on the said sting and also on the report filed by Justice Mudgal to the Honorable Supreme Court of India which was widely reported by various media organisations including print media," the channel said in a statement.
"The news channel has done the sting operations based on the facts which were in the public domain as series of stories were already filed/published by various media organisations from February 10 to 1, 2014.
"To further clarify the said issue, Zee Media Corporation Limited has already moved an intervention application along with the evidence in its possession before the Honorable Supreme Court of India in the pending SLP filed by Cricket Association of Bihar," it added.
Dhoni, in his suit, submitted that the defendants Zee Media Corporation Limited, Zee News Editor and Business Head Sudhir Chaudary, IPS officer Sampath Kumar (who initially probed the IPL betting scam) and News Nation network private limited, had been carrying highly defamatory, scandalous and libellous false reports and statements since February 11, 2014.