Retired IPS officer who accused Dhoni of match-fixing gets relief from Supreme Court, Madras High Court stays sentence
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former captain of the Indian cricket team, had sued retired IPS G Sampat Kumar for contempt. Sampath Kumar was given a 15-day jail sentence by the Madras High Court for remarks he made in written arguments against the judiciary in the retired police officer's response to the case, which the Supreme Court dismissed.
The Supreme Court, while hearing a case, has stayed the decision of the Madras High Court. An interim stay has been put on Monday on the 15-day jail sentence given by the Madras High Court to retired IPS officer G Sampath Kumar in a contempt of court case filed by former Team India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
A bench consisting of Justices A S Oka and Ujjwal Bhuyan sent out a notice regarding Kumar's appeal of the high court ruling. March 8 has been set aside for the case's next hearing. On December 15, 2018, the High Court convicted Kumar of criminal contempt and imposed a 15-day jail sentence.
Dhoni asked for punishment against Kumar in his contempt plea for remarks he made about the judiciary in his written statement that he submitted in answer to the defamation suit that was filed for Rs 100 crore. In 2014, Dhoni filed a lawsuit against the former police officer for disclosing the identity of the well-known cricket player in an IPL betting scam.
The High Court had said in its order that Kumar had deliberately attempted to defame this court and the Supreme Court and undermine their authority. The High Court had said that Kumar, by his specific words, had made indecent remarks on the judiciary to defame and undermine the dignity and majesty of this court as well as the apex court. The high court had said Kumar was a responsible police officer who had the opportunity to investigate the crime.
According to news agency PTI, the High Court had said that freedom of speech and expression cannot be expanded to dilute the statutory limits contained in the Contempt of Court Act. Since maintaining the dignity of the courts is one of the key principles of the rule of law, no publication or public speech can be permitted.
The High Court had said that the Contempt of Court Act is designed to secure public respect and confidence in the judiciary as an institution. The court had said, "If persons like Sampat Kumar are allowed to disturb public confidence in the impartial administration of justice, it must be considered an attack on the judiciary."