The Delhi high court has terminated the nearly three-decade old hegemony of the management of the Chelmsford Club. The court has directed the British-era club’s management to conduct fair and democratic board elections.
The elite club, located near Parliament House, was founded in 1922. It has 2,485 members including bureaucrats, politicians, judges and many more distinguished people.
SS Sayal, a permanent member of the club, through his counsel Prabhjit Jauhar had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court stating that the existing managing committee chaired by secretary PS Bedi had illegally rejected all the nominations to the September 2010 board-elections.
Sayal, in his petition, said “Members of the committee at the behest of Bedi perpetuated a self-rule by ensuring the election of their relatives, virtually in rotation”.
Hearing the case, Justice S Ravinder Bhat observed that the affairs of the club’s managing committee have been conducted in a manner prejudicial to the members and the club.
Sayal, along with other proposed members, stated in their petition that an ordinary form was provided to the members, who intended to be elected or even being proposed as a member of the managing committee, wherein, it was simply written that the member concerned can either give his consent or his name can be proposed for being a member of the managing committee.
The judge said, “It requires furnishing of consent by a candidate holding himself out for election, at the stage of filing nomination form”.
Jauhar contended in court, “The nominations of the proposed candidates were quashed by the club on the flimsy ground that no consent of the proposed candidates was required to be taken for the election of new managing committee”.
Bedi’s counsel argued that that the nominations of the applicants, including Sayal and others, were correctly rejected.
The court said that the defendants (managing committee headed by Bedi) are restrained from giving effect to results
of September 2010 board elections, and that it must conduct fresh elections to the managing committee.