NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Madras High Court order, which had awarded retired IPS officer Sampath Kumar with 15 days of imprisonment in a contempt of court case filed by cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan by an interim order suspended the punishment.
The court also issued notice to Dhoni on Kumar's petition, questioning validity of the high court order and also on his application seeking interim relief.
The high court had passed its order in the civil suit and contempt petition filed by Dhoni relating to publication of materials regarding investigation in match fixing case.
The Madras High Court had in December, 2023 sentenced retired IPS officer G Sampath Kumar to 15 days imprisonment on a contempt petition filed by former captain of the Indian cricket team but kept the sentence in abeyance for 30 days to enable the officer to appeal against the verdict.
Dhoni initially filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against Kumar, who was serving with the CID department of Tamil Nadu Police, and a television channel in 2014 for levelling match-fixing allegations against him in the Indian Premier League betting case.
Afterwards, he filed a contempt petition against the officer, claiming disparaging remarks were made by the IPS officer against the apex court and the Madras high court.
In 2013, Kumar had carried out the initial probe in the IPL betting case and he was later taken off the case and suspended following allegations that he took bribes from some bookies to let them off the hook.
In 2019, the trial court cleared Kumar of accusations citing inadequate evidence. Kumar has maintained that he was framed to stop him from unearthing the scam in its entirety.