The Delhi Gymkhana Club, a watering hole in the national capital, is not unfamiliar to controversies. On February 15, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) said the club is hit by nepotism and favouritism, dissolving its general committee (GC), and directed the Centre to nominate an administrator to run day-to-day affairs and check mismanagement. However, the recommendations of the inquiry committee in connection with electoral malpractice alleged against a candidate for GC of the club, seeking re-election, in December last year, are yet to be addressed.
On February 2, the club had constituted an inquiry committee comprising three members — A B Shukla (presiding member), Jay Bhattacharjee and Commodore Anil Jail Singh (retired) — to enquire into the complaints received by the chief election commissioner from three members of the club against Mandeep Kapur for violating the election code of conduct. The election to the club’s GC was held in the last week of December last year.
The inquiry committee noted, “it has been firmly established from the deposition of the witnesses that Mandeep Kapur was present in and around the office and was frequently seen sitting in the lawn outside the office where the secretary had set up his desk during the winter.” The committee added it has been established beyond doubt that Kapur was directly interfering in the election process, despite being an incumbent member of the GC and a candidate seeking re-election.
According to a source familiar with the development, the inquiry committee report has been shared with the current administrator Vinod Kumar Yadav. “The club’s GC was dissolved, and it is currently under a government nominated administrator. The government had said the GC members have been acting autocratically to the benefit of a few chosen members of the club. But no action has been taken on the report so far,” said the source.
Three members of the club have complained against Kapur: Col Hardeep Chowdhary (retired) via e-mail addressed to CEC on January 9, 2021; Dr. Pervez Hayat, IPS (retired) via email addressed to the CEC on December 30, 2020; and Lt .Cdr. Ajeet Ahluwalia (retired) via email to the CEC on December 29, 2020.
In its recommendation, the inquiry committee said: “The inquiry committee is dismayed by the blatant disregard to the laid down electoral code of conduct of Mandeep Kapur and the inaction by the Chief election Commissioner Maj. Gen. Ashok Mehta in not responding or inquiring into the complaint lodged by two members, one of whom was himself a candidate for the election and was directly affected by any electoral malpractice in the conduct of the election and the second complainant was that time a member of the General Committee”, said the committee.