Millennium Post

Dhoni linked firm tells SC payments made are genuine

New Delhi: Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd, a firm that manages leading cricketers including former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, told the Supreme Court on Monday that it has paid the cricketer Rs 37 crore for endorsing the brand of now defunct Amrapali Group.

It said Dhoni endorsed several brands including Amrapali Group and all the payments made were authentic and as per the contract. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit asked homebuyers in the group's project to file their response to the application moved by the sports management company.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd (RSMPL), said that all the payments made were authentic and genuine, as per the contract.

"I am a sports management company working with various cricketers. My client (M S Dhoni) endorsed various clients including Amrapali Group. I was paid Rs 38 crore and out of which I paid Rs 37 crore to Dhoni, which was as per the contract. I have filed a fresh application in this regard," Rohatgi said.

Advocate M L Lahoty, appearing for the homebuyers, said that a direction needs to be passed by the court to recover Rs 42.22 crore paid by Amrapali Group to Dhoni for diverting their money. The bench asked Lahoty to file response to the application moved by RSMPL and listed the matter for February 17. In its verdict on July 23 last year, the top court, while accepting a report of forensic auditors, had recorded a finding that Amrapali Group had entered into "sham agreements" with RSMPL, to "illegally divert" homebuyers money.

The forensic audit report accepted by the top court said that Amrapali Sapphire Developers Pvt Ltd had paid Rs 6.52 crore, out of the total amount of Rs 42.22 crore, to RSMPL during 2009-2015.

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