Delhi Gymkhana members say change in accounting policy detrimental to club’s interests

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The members of the Delhi Gymkhana Club, located in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi and also mired in controversies for nearly two years, are fighting a tough battle with the Centre’s appointed administrator to keep intact its over-hundred old exclusivity.

Several members of the club, including a former President, have opposed to the change in accounting policy, which has been followed by for number of decades, duly approved by all previous auditors as well as present auditors of last six years.

According to a member of the club, the new management intends to transfer imaginary loss of Rs 127.78 crore from 2009-10 to 2019-20 from free reserves, which will not be available to future general committee (GC) to meet expenses. “If done, free reserves be reduced to Rs 46 lakh only from Rs 128.24 crore. Even working of Rs 127.78 crore loss is erroneous as interest/investment income of Rs 81 crore has not been reduced from said loss,” said the member.

Another member, speaking with IANS, added that if accounts are approved, then members will end up paying 5 times increase in monthly subscription and a many fold increase in food and beverage prices, apart from increase in charges for swimming, squash, tennis etc.

“The auditor seems to be siding with the erroneous views taken by the administrator and not as a watchdog of the interests of the members of the club,” he added.

A member said the administrator’s observation is totally misleading for changing accounting policy for other receipts also, especially when even the auditors have objected for such change of policy. He added in any case, the present auditors auditing the accounts from 2014-15 and all earlier auditors accepted the said accounting policy.

The members are accusing Administrator Om Pathak, a former UP-cadre IAS officer, of robbing the spirit of the over a century-old club.

Five voting permanent club members, who are also chartered accountants, in a communication to members said: “If the Accounts and Administrator Reports are adopted the accounting jugglery may result in the Annual Subscription/selling price of consumables getting beyond the reach of many of our members, especially those who are senior citizens who have retired from active service and are dependent on limited sources of income.”

“Further it may lead to legal cases/prosecution of previous Presidents & GC Members of many decades, for committing serious financial irregularities.”

Another member added: “Although, the club’s investments in Bank FDs/MF are over Rs 200 crore, but efforts are to prove the club is not solvent due to imaginary accumulated losses and making a fit case for government to take over.”

However, no members from the club are willing to come on record.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (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 (GC) of the Delhi Gymkhana 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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