MS Dhoni gets legal notice for endorsing rival brands simultaneously

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MS Dhoni gets legal notice for endorsing rival brands simultaneously

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SportsCafe Desk

07/30/2017

The Delhi High Court has a sent a legal notice to MS Dhoni for endorsing two competing gym and fitness chains simultaneously. The former Indian skipper has been endorsing Fit7, a gym and fitness chain while also having an exclusive endorsement agreement with Sportsfit World Private Limited (SWPL).

MS Dhoni is no stranger to legal issues as he found himself on the wrong side of the law on more than one occasion in the past. For instance, in 2013 Dhoni faced a conflict of interests issue as Rhiti Sports, a management company which was co-owned by Dhoni was pulled up for managing some members of the Indian cricket team while he was the captain of the Indian team.

Now, four years later, in another incident, Dhoni has been sent a legal notice for endorsing two rival brands simultaneously. Similarly, The high court has also sought a response from SWPL, its directors, and Fit7 World Private Limited and posted the case for further hearing on September 13. However, despite Dhoni committing a clear breach of his endorsement contract, 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

Arora has invested Rs 22 crores into SWPL and said that 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 a predetermined price and that a separate proceeding in respect of the buyout has already been initiated. Further, Arora also claimed he has instituted criminal proceedings against MS Dhoni at Punjab and Haryana High Court.

His petition read as follows: “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.”

In response to the petition, 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,” reported Hindustan Times.

Pandey also added that 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."

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,” he stated.

“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 remarked.

Finally, when asked about Arora’s allegation that the two directors of Fit7, Ashwini Kumar Pandey and Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, are also directors of Rhiti companies, 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 for the company.”

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