Delhi high court on Thursday asked the chief of Maxx Mobile to inform it about the steps taken on the order refraining them from selling any product having endorsement of Indian cricket captain M S Dhoni.
Justice J R Midha also directed Maxx Mobile CMD Ajjay Agarwal to file an affidavit containing information about the stocks available with them when the order was passed on November 17, 2014 and the number of products sold thereafter.
“What instruction it (Maxx Mobile) has given with regard to removal of petitioner’s (Dhoni) name from the product (mobile and its box) to the printer,” the court asked.
It directed the company to file an affidavit within four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on July 29.
The court’s direction came on a petition filed by Dhoni seeking contempt proceedings against Agarwal for defying the high court’s November 17, 2014 direction asking Maxx Mobile to “refrain from selling any products” which use or claimed to have been endorsed by Dhoni.
The November 2014 direction was passed on a plea by Dhoni and Rhiti Sports who have alleged that Maxx Mobilink Pvt Ltd have not paid dues of over crores of rupees which was agreed upon for using the cricketer’s name on their products.
Dhoni’s counsel Gaurav Mitra had said the endorsement agreement between him and the company had expired in December 2012 but Maxx was still using his name to sell its products and not paying him the dues.
Dhoni’s claim was opposed by Agarwal’s counsel Sanjeev Bhadari, who submitted that no mobile phones were sold in the name of the cricketer.
“Mr Dhoni has to attend certain shooting, which he failed to do. The petitioner was also under certain obligation as per the agreement...,” Bhadari argued.
This was countered by Dhoni’s counsel who said that the company has to pay Rs 70 crore, for which the matter is before the arbitrator. “Despite the order against the company, they are still selling and promoting its products by using name and image of Mr Dhoni,” the counsel contended.
He submitted that “MSD” is the short form of name of M S Dhoni and number 7 is his Jersey number, which he wears while playing for the Indian Cricket Team. “It clearly shows that Maxx Mobile is still using the name and image for promoting its brand and increasing sales of its products,” he added.
The cricketer, in his contempt plea, has also sought direction to seize all the products/mobile handsets and such other articles where his name and image is being used to sell and promote these products.