The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Madras High Court order sentencing retired Indian Police Services (IPS) officer Sampath Kumar to fifteen days of imprisonment in a contempt of court case filed by cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni [G Sampath Kumar vs Mahendra Singh Dhoni]..A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan issued notice on Kumar's petition against the High Court decision and also on his application seeking interim relief..In December 2023, the Madras High Court sentenced Kumar to fifteen days of imprisonment on the contempt of court petition filed by Dhoni.The contempt case was initiated over remarks made by Kumar against the judiciary in written submissions filed by the former police officer in response to a defamation suit by Dhoni. .The matter stems from a ₹100-crore defamation case filed by Dhoni against several parties, including Kumar. The former captain of the Indian Men's Cricket Team had filed the defamation suit before the Madras High Court against Zee Media, Kumar and others over allegedly malicious statements and news reports that claimed that Dhoni was involved in betting and match-fixing of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in 2013.Dhoni sought to restrain the defendants, including Kumar who had initially probed the IPL betting scam, from issuing or publishing defamatory statements against the cricketer related to the issue..The High Court had initially granted an interim injunction and restrained Zee, Kumar and others from making defamatory statements against Dhoni. Subsequently, Zee and the others filed their written statements in response to the defamation suit. Following the written statements, Dhoni filed an application claiming that Kumar had gone on to make further defamatory statements in his written submissions. Thus, Dhoni had urged the High Court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Kumar.Dhoni later told the High Court that he was not interested in prosecuting Sampath Kumar for contempt if the latter tendered an apology for the remarks he had made.However, Sampath refused to do so and argued that the contempt petition against him was not maintainable.Dhoni then submitted copies of such statements made by Sampath against him and the Supreme Court. On examining the statements, the High Court remarked they were indeed contemptuous and sentenced the retired police officer to fifteen days in prison.However, the Court suspended the sentence for thirty days to allow Kumar to file an appeal. The appeal came up for hearing before the top court today, which in effect extended the effect of the suspension of Sampath Kumar's sentence.