Delhi Gymkhana Club: NCLT orders setting up of panelUpdated: Jun 27, 2020, 00:15 IST
New Delhi: The National Company Law Tribunal on Friday asked the government to appoint two nominees to the governing body of Delhi Gymkhana Club as well as set-up a five-member committee to look into the alleged “irregularities”, officials told Hindustan Times.
The NCLT in its verbal judgment also said that the Delhi Gymkhana club, which is in the midst of a take-over battle by the Centre, will be allowed to make no “new policy decisions, appoint new members and/or begin new constructions”. The next date of hearing has been set at 7 September when the five-member committee will submit its report.
Delhi Gymkhana president Lt. Gen. D.R. Soni (retd.) said that the “club will work with whatever orders are issued”.
“We will do our best to follow whatever orders are issued, earlier restrictions have been continued,” Soni told Hindustan Times.
“This a big win for the government as the interim orders addresses the concerns that were raised,” an MCA official privy to the developments told Hindustan Times.
The Delhi Gymkhana, which shares a wall with the Prime Minister’s residence, has been under investigation for around three years. The central government has cited “parivarwaad” (nepotism), financial irregularities, misuse of allocated land and issues related to membership as the primary reasons behind its move to acquire the Delhi Gymkhana Club.
The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) filed a petition, seen by the Hindustan Times, with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking to take over the premier club.
The government had asked for the dissolution of the governing body and the appointment of an administrator as interim relief.
Not all feel that the order favours the government. A former Delhi Gymkhana official told Hindustan Times that the order was “neither a win nor a loss for either side”.
“The order is primarily saying two things – one, that the administration of Gymkhana is allowed to continue,” said the former Gymkhana official. “The two nominees that will be appointed will be filing two vacancies. So basically NCLT has said that the government will fill the vacancies.”
The former Gymkhana official added that the second point was that the NCLT is not yet “convinced of all the irregularities”, and has hence, asked the government to appoint a five-member team.
“The team is investigative in nature, not administrative,” the former official said adding that the case was still “wide open” and “could go anywhere”.
A Gymkhana board member, however, said that the order “was not exactly a positive for the Club”.
“The governing council has been allowed to function, which is a good thing considering it is a democratically elected body,” said the official. “But we have to realise that a handful of people who hold a grudge against the Club have caused all these troubles.”
The official added that there was no clarity on the mandate of the committee or the observers that the government has been asked to appoint. “We will have to wait for the written order to understand the nuances.”
“As a member for last 49 years, all I can say is that this is not tenable in a court of law. The case has a weak leg to stand on. Once the Club lawyers receive a copy of the judgment, they will be able to respond better,” said Sameer Singh.