Indian limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is now in deep waters as a telecom brand for which he was a brand ambassador has accused him in Delhi High Court of "wilfully" misleading the court for creating "alarmist circumstances".
Earlier in 2014, Dhoni had accused a top officer of the company of disobeying a high court order which stated that the organization would not use the cricketer's name to sell their products. But the officer insisted they never indulged in misusing Dhoni’s name to propel the brand.
In an affidavit filed in pursuance to the April 21 order, the Managing Director of the organization, Ajjay R Agarwal has said that they have not sold any product after 17th November 2014 where the Indian skipper’s name was used. He also claimed they did not keep any stock in their custody after that date.Dhoni’s agreement with the company had ended in December 2012.
"I say and submit that the company has removed all material from its own websites and from social media websites including Facebook,"Agarwal said in his affidavit as quoted by DNA."However, at this juncture, I say and submit that the petitioner number one (Dhoni) is guilty of wilfully misleading this court for the sake of creating alarmist circumstances.”
Agarwal also claimed that his company had stopped using Dhoni’s name well before November 17, 2014.
"I say that in the facts of the case before us, Facebook posts containing the image of petitioner number one (Dhoni) was posted by respondent number two (firm) sometime in the year 2012 which was well outside the active web page of the Facebook account of the respondent number two; which fact was well within the knowledge of the petitioners (Dhoni and Rhiti Sports) who have deliberately dug up the posts associated with the petitioner number one (Dhoni) herein for the sake of creating the present cause of action...," it alleged.
A hearing was held on Tuesday and the lawyer appearing for Dhoni has taken time to file a rejoinder to the affidavit. The court has now scheduled the hearing for January 24.Dhoni had earlier filed a petition against Agarwal for disobeying high court's November 17, 2014, direction asking Maxx Mobilink to "refrain from selling any products" which were endorsed by him.
The high court on April 21 wanted to know from Agarwal what steps they had taken to the order which refrained them from selling any product having an endorsement of Dhoni.In the affidavit, Agarwal claimed they have not "breached" the November 17, 2014, order and that they had done away with materials from their website which had pictures of Dhoni.
"I say and submit that the respondent number two (firm), as on November 17, 2014, and even as on date, continues to rightfully use the brand 'MSD7' for the purpose of selling its products. I say and submit that it is a matter of fact that respondent number two is the absolute owner of all rights in the brand/ trademark 'MSD7'," he claimed in the affidavit.