Bangalore: The court has adjourned the hearing of a civil miscellaneous petition seeking appointment of an arbitrator in resolving the dispute involving Indian cricket team captain M S Dhoni and his endorsement companies so as to enable the parties to report about the settlement.
Counsel for the petitioner KSDL, told the court that talks about settlement are in the final stage with the new managers of Dhoni and sought 10 days time.
The petition is filed by Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited against Dhoni and his endorsing company Mumbai-based Sporting and Outdoor Solutions and Kolkata-based Msrs Game Plan Sports Private Limited seeking arbitration proceedings for breach of contract and damages.
In order to give greater visibility for Mysore Sandal Soaps, its makers KSDL had roped in Dhoni as brand ambassador in January 2006 to endorse the soap for the term of two years. According to the agreement dated January 3, 2006, Dhoni was to give the company five days for two years. But he failed to fulfill these terms by being available only for two occasions.
The endorsement agreement which was to end on January 2, 2008 was terminated on December 20, 2007. The managing director of Msrs Marketing Consultants and Agencies, who was the arbitrator as per the clause, expressed his inability to act as arbitrator on March 31, 2008. Finally, the company moved court seeking appointment of an arbitrator to resolve the dispute under the provisions of sec 11(6)of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
The deal was struck between KSDL and Sporting and Outdoor Solutions for Rs 70 lakh for endorsing the soap. A sum of Rs 52.5 lakh was already paid. During his availability, only a 60-second advertisement involving Dhoni was produced, the KSDL has claimed.