Delhi Gymkhana members say Centre’s administrator changing club’s distinctive character

Vishal Marwah, a member of the GC, said that there is no record pertaining to the handing over by previous Administrator Vinod Yadav to the current administrator Om Pathak, a former UP cadre IAS officer, and objected to the club's resources being used in the appointment of advisors.

New Delhi: Members of the Delhi Gymkhana Club have alleged the Administrator, appointed by the Centre to manage its affairs, is changing the distinctive character of the over century-old club, and also stone-walled the objections to the policy changes made by him contrary to his mandate.

Speaking to IANS, Major Atul Dev (retd), a member of the former general committee (GC) of the club, noted the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had made it clear that the Administrator will manage the day-to-day affairs of the club, and not introduce changes in the existing policies of the club.

Another member of the club, on the condition of anonymity, said the Administrator’s comment on the re-inventing of the club has caused considerable consternation among the members.

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The club members have objected to the payment made from club funds to legal counsel, known to command exorbitant fees, who are supposed to be representing the club in the current legal cases in the National Company Law Tribunal/the NCLAT/Supreme Court.

“Although they are supposed to represent the club, these counsel are either representing the Administrator (as in the Supreme Court) or are opposing the appeal, against the NCLAT order, as filed in the Supreme Court, by 9 general committee members representing the members’ interests,” said a communication sent to the administrator.

The communication also added that in spite of requests, there has been no information made available to members regarding the financial status of the club, particularly during the current lockdown period.

“Balance sheets due as on March 31, 2021 have not been circulated. Financial health of the club is a matter of serious concern particularly due to restrictions on some financial activities being placed by orders passed by the NCLT/NCLAT, such as no new members to be enrolled,” it added.

The members have also objected to the setting up of sub-committees, not provided for, which is in violation of the Articles of Association. “Sub-committees are required to be formed from amongst elected members of the General Committee, whereas you have nominated them from a list of 185 members, who volunteered based on responses received to a letter marked Expression of Interest,” said the communication.

Vishal Marwah, a member of the GC, said that there is no record pertaining to the handing over by previous Administrator Vinod Yadav to the current administrator Om Pathak, a former UP cadre IAS officer, and objected to the club’s resources being used in the appointment of advisors.

The club members have suggested that both expenditure on functions and other events and recruitment of additional staff be kept on hold till overall financial prospects of the club improves and normalcy is restored.

Speaking to IANS, Pathak cited that he took charge of the club amid the second wave of Covid in the capital. On the aspect of documents pertaining to the handing over, he said the Administrator before him shared his thoughts and experience in managing the affairs of the club.

On the various objections raised by members, he said: “I will do what is legally correct. I do not yield to pressure.”

On the objections to the policy changes of the club, Pathak said the tribunal asked the Administrator to run the affairs of the club and run it well.

The NCLAT, on February 15 this year, dissolved the club’s GC and directed the Centre to appoint an administrator to manage its affairs, after the Ministry of Corporate Affairs moved the tribunal alleging corruption, mismanagement, and nepotism in the club.

On September 30, in a major relief for the former general committee of the club, the Supreme Court, while hearing the appeals filed against the NCLAT, remanded the matter back to the NCLT and asked it to settle it within four months.

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