MEMBERS OF the Breach Candy Club in South Mumbai, which is currently embroiled in a bitter dispute between two factions, have accused a former chairman of misappropriation of funds. Addressing a press conference, senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said Sunday that the club had incurred a loss of Rs 22 crore over the last three years.
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“The club has been hijacked by outsiders to make illegitimate money, at the expense of the club members,” said Jethmalani, who is also a member of the club
The group of club members has sought for a police probe into the allegations.
“The membership fees was suddenly increased from Rs 7 lakh to Rs 1 crore. People who have been in the waiting list for membership have been ignored… Moreover, the membership logs were lost,” said Jethmalani.
Its membership originally reserved for Europeans only, the amendment of the club’s constitution allowed Indian nationals to become members, while the management committee continued to be controlled by Europeans or Europeans of Indian Origin. A tussle over the issue of whether Indian nationals can be members of the managing committee of the elite club is at the heart of an ongoing litigation.
A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur recently appointed a three-member committee — comprising retired Supreme Court Judge B N Srikrishna, former Bombay High Court Judge R Y Ganoo and a senior partner from Ernst&Young — to look into the day-to-day affairs of the club. Meanwhile, new admissions have also been put on hold.
Dismissing that there is a racial issue between Europeans and Indians, Tina Vajpeyi, an Indian born in Germany and a member of the club, said, “There are more Indians than non-Indians in the club. We are strongly governed by the Bombay Public Trusts Act, and corruption and underhand dealing is a criminal activity under the Act.”
When contacted, former chairman of the club Dipesh Mehta refused to comment.