India’s World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni could be in a legal soup after he endorsed two rival fitness chains. Also Read - India vs Australia 2nd ODI 2020: Team India Missing MS Dhoni - Michael Holding Points Out Difference After Defeat in 1st ODI vs Australia
Recently, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to MS Dhoni on a petition seeking to restrain him from endorsing Fit7, a gym and fitness chain, on the ground that he already has an exclusive endorsement agreement with Sportsfit World Private Limited (SWPL). Also Read - Will Night Curfew be Imposed in Delhi Again? Here’s What Kejriwal Govt Plans
The court has set a hearing for September 13 and sought response from SWPL, its directors, and Fit7 World Private Limited. Also Read - Women Free to Live Wherever, With Whoever They Want: Delhi HC Quashes 'Love Jihad' Case
Vikas Arora, a 33 per cent stakeholder in SWPL, has contended in his petition that the directors of SWPL have decided not to act against MS Dhoni despite breach of endorsement agreement.
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Arora, who has invested Rs 22 crores into SWPL, said due to differences with 65 per cent majority stakeholders -Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and Rhiti MSD Alamode Private Limited – he has agreed to exit SWPL at predetermined price. A separate proceeding in respect of the buy-out has already been initiated, he said.
Arora said he has instituted criminal proceedings against MS Dhoni at Punjab and Haryana High Court.
“The breach of the agreement committed by respondent no. 1 (Dhoni) will cause great prejudice to respondent no. 4 (SWPL) and prevent it from optimally utilizing the benefits thereunder,” his petition said.
However, in a report published in the Hindustan Times, Sanjay Pandey, one of the directors of SWPL, said, “Arora has filed a frivolous petition which is totally baseless and even the maintainability of the petition has been questioned by the High Court”.
Pandey said the petition was filed as “a pressure tactic to blackmail and to unnecessary drag and malign the name of Mahendra Singh Dhoni into an unnecessary controversy”.
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When asked about Arora’s allegation that the two directors of Fit7, Ashwini Kumar Panndey and Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, are also directors of Rhiti companies, Pandey said, “All the allegations are unfounded, baseless and frivolous and have only been made to harass the present management of the company”.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni captained the Indian team in limited-overs formats from September 2007 to 4th of January 2017 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 28th of December 2014.