MS Dhoni has been served a notice from the Delhi High Court for endorsing two competing gym and fitness chains. Dhoni has been asked to restrain from endorsing Fit7, a gym and fitness chain as he already has an exclusive endorsement agreement with Sportsfit World Private Limited (SWPL).
The high court has also sought response from SWPL, its directors, and Fit7 World Private Limited and posted the case for further hearing on September 13.
The matter however, does not look in favor of SWPL as the directors of SWPL aren’t interested in acting against MS Dhoni, Vikas Arora, a 33 per cent stakeholder in SWPL, has argued in his petition.
He also claimed to have initiated 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.
Arora has, indeed, filed the petition as a “derivative action” on behalf of SWPL where he has alleged the management of SWPL was “clearly not interested in protecting the interest” of the company. Arora has an investment of Rs 22 crores in SWPL but could not win the support of the 65 per cent majority stakeholders – Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and Rhiti MSD Alamode Private Limited. The businessman has now decided to make an exit.
One of SWPL’s Director Defends Dhoni
Sanjay Pandey, one of the directors of SWPL, told Hindustan Times that, the petition is baseless and the relevance of plea has been questioned by the High Court”. Pandey has termed the petition as “a pressure tactic to blackmail and to unnecessary drag and malign the name of MS Dhoni into an unnecessary controversy”.
“It is also to pressurize the company from withdrawing its complaints and claims made against Vikas Arora and his accomplices for various breaches, defaults and illegalities committed by them in the past,” Pandey said.
“In fact the present management is trying to undo the huge financial losses caused to the company by Vikas Arora and his accomplices who have swindled large sums of money running into several crores from the company,” Pandey contended.
All the allegations are unfounded, baseless and frivolous and have only been made to harass the present management of the company”.