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Delhi Gymkhana Club committee to challenge Modi govt move to take over management




The Delhi Gymkhana Club | Photo:
The Delhi Gymkhana Club | Photo:

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New Delhi: The management committee of the Delhi Gymkhana Club has said it will challenge the central government’s petition to take over its management.

Lieutenant General D.R. Soni (retd), president of the over-a-century-old club, said the current management has asked the National Company Law Tribunal for some time, until after the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted, to duly present its side of the case.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs moved a petition in the NCLT, seeking a change of management at the Delhi Gymkhana Club and the appointment of 15 nominees as administrators to run its affairs. The elite club, which is adjacent to the Prime Minister’s Residence in Delhi, is frequented by top civil servants, army officers and judges, among others.

“We have asked for about 7-8 working days after the lockdown is lifted to arrange for the papers, documents… Of course, we will justify ourselves, and challenge the petition of the government,” Soni said.

“It is a 107-year-old club and is run by the management committee, which is elected by its members… It is not a Section 8 company or a government office that can be run by the government,” he added.

Another member of the management committee who did not want to be named said this is probably the first time the government wants to take over a club.

“It is completely unheard of that a government wants to micro-manage the functioning of a club…And that too in the middle of a pandemic. What is the urgency?” the member asked. “We will surely challenge it.”

Also read: Time Modi & Amit Shah stop abusing Lutyens’ Delhi. They are the new power elite in Capital

Why govt moved the plea

The government’s plea in the NCLT sought action against the Delhi Gymkhana Club management under Section 241 and 242 of the Companies Act — which allows member of a company or the government to seek relief if the affairs of the entity are being run in a manner “prejudicial to public interest”, or are deemed “oppressive”, among other things.

The tribunal has issued notices, and the case is to come up for hearing next Friday, 1 May.

According to sources in the club, the move came after the Ministry of Corporate Affairs ordered an investigation into the functioning of the club, following complaints of mismanagement and financial bungling, filed by some of its members.

According to a 2019 Times of India report, the club charges an application fee of Rs 1 lakh or more for membership, on which it does not pay interest, even though there is no guarantee of membership being granted even after 20 to 30 years.

The report also said the ministry’s probe had found that the utility charge paid by government officials to join the club had risen to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 5,000 in the year 2000. For non-government candidates, the charge has risen to Rs 7.5 lakh from Rs 5,000.

Also read: Why the lack of approval from Lutyens’ Delhi bothers Narendra Modi so much


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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