India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has filed a Rs 100-crore defamation case in the Madras High Court against media houses Zee Media Corporation and News Nation Network alleging that they have telecast "false news reports" to link him with "illegal activities of betting, match fixing and spot fixing." (Also read: Don't reveal players' names, BCCI pleads Supreme Court)
The court on Tuesday restrained the two media houses from publishing or telecasting any news content about Dhoni in connection with allegations in the IPL match-fixing case, or in any manner insinuating about his integrity and honesty. (Also read: Zee hits back at Dhoni)
In his order, Justice S Tamilvanan said, "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 injection is granted for a period of two weeks."
Dhoni, who is currently leading India in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, said in his petition, "Since February 11, 2014, Zee Media Corporation Limited (Zee News Channel) and Sudhir Chaudhary, editor and business head of the channel in collusion with G.Sampath Kumar (suspended police officer) have been telecasting and broadcasting and hosting false news reports insinuating that the plaintiff (Dhoni) was involved in the illegal activities of betting, match fixing and spot fixing."
The Indian skipper also said that Noida-based News Nation Network Private Limited (News National channel) joined the tirade against him and later on went to the extent of stating that he was summoned by the Tamil Nadu police. This Dhoni said was also utterly false.
The suit also says, "The reports that were broadcast by the news networks revolved around IPL team Chennai Super Kings of which Dhoni is the captain and the alleged involvement of him in fixing devastated the reputation and image of the Dhoni and his image in the eyes of millions of fans all over the world."
Chennai Super Kings official, Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, is being investigated for charges of corruption during the IPL. Meiyappan has been charged of betting and sharing team information by the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee led by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal.
The Mudgal committee report includes alleged findings by Sampath Kumar, who investigated the IPL betting racket for two weeks on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Q branch, a state intelligence wing. Kumar, who was transferred to the Railway police in Trichy, had deposed before the Mudgal committee.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the Mudgal committee reports on March 25. One of the reports mentions alleged telephonic conversations of Indian players with bookies.