Dilip Cherian | ‘Takeover’ of Gymkhana Club strikes fear in Lutyens’ Delhi

The Asian Age.  | Dilip Cherian

Opinion, Columnists

This is the first time in the Club’s history that an administrator has been appointed to run its affairs

With its seemingly endless saga of mismanagement and irregularities, the Club has been in the limelight a lot, unfortunately. (Image: delhigymkhana.org.in)

The capital’s Gymkhana Club, the 107-year-old watering hole favoured by the high and mighty of currently beleaguered Lutyens’ Delhi, is back in the news. With its seemingly endless saga of mismanagement and irregularities, the Club has been in the limelight a lot, unfortunately.

The present crisis has emerged after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) dissolved the Club’s governing council and appointed M.M. Juneja, director general of the ministry of corporate affairs, as “administrator” to oversee the club’s functioning even as the legal case continues. Among Mr Juneja’s first actions after his appointment sent a notice to all members to clear pending dues amounting to Rs 1.2 crores!

This is the first time in the Club’s history that an administrator has been appointed to run its affairs. Mr Juneja has been given the mandate to introduce “the best practices that can bring the club to the 21st-century norms”.

The current imbroglio dates back four years when the ministry of corporate affairs decided to open an inquiry into the Club’s management after the growing number of complaints and court cases against the Club. The petition was filed early last year at the NCLAT in which the ministry sought to take over the Club management. It seems to have got its way, for now. Other clubs in Lutyens’ Delhi are trembling now that serious action has begun. Any guesses about who’s next? DKB is listening to your chatter, so send it in…

ED on an expansion spree

As it seeks to become nimbler as well as to strengthen its reach due to growing responsibilities, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is on an expansion spree. This requires more officers for new zonal and sub-zonal offices.

The agency, a part of the revenue department of the Union finance ministry, is responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime. But with a wider jurisdiction now with new responsibilities under the FEMA, PMLA and FEO acts, it will need to expand its footprint.

According to sources, the expansion will involve a considerable restructuring of its cadre strength. At present, ED has a sanctioned strength of 2,064 posts including five special directors and 27 joint directors. Since there is a shortage of officers for even the sanctioned posts, there is a greater urgency for selecting more officers to fill existing vacancies as well as for the new offices. Apparently, there is a move to create new posts of additional/joint directors and deputy directors for the new zonal and sub-zonal offices.

Recently, ED promoted 10 assistant directors as deputy directors of enforcement. They include P. Radhakrishnan, P. Vinod Kumar, P. Nandini, Rajesh Kumar, M. Nair, Shubhendu Parthi, Diptesh Mondal, Benjamin S.N. Chattair, Padma, V.G. Thomas and Krishna Jain. The agency has also recently opened two new zonal offices in Bhopal and Gurugram and raised the status of sub-zonal offices in Raipur and Bhubaneshwar to zonal offices. It has also opened several sub-zonal offices across the country.

Former Bihar DGP’s political career still at start line

The political ambitions of the high-profile former DGP of Bihar Gupteshwar Pandey have been thwarted, yet again.

Though Mr Pandey waited patiently for his hoped-for induction into the NDA government, chief minister Nitish Kumar has instead appointed another former IPS officer, Sunil Kumar, as a cabinet minister in the state with the excise and prohibition portfolio, barely a few months after his retirement.

Mr Pandey shot into the headline with his comments during the furore over actor Sushant Singh’s suicide. Even as the controversy raged, Mr Pandey took voluntary retirement and joined the Janata Dal (United) Party hoping to get a party ticket. However, the ticket went to the BJP candidate under the seat-sharing agreement within the NDA.

This denied, many were certain that Mr Pandey would be inducted into the Nitish Cabinet sooner than later. But Sunil Kumar has pipped him to that. Neither has Mr Pandey been made an MLC either.

Curiously, this was Mr Pandey’s second attempt at a career in politics. In 2009, he had taken voluntary retirement in the hope of getting a BJP ticket, which he was denied. Luckily for him, Nitish Kumar allowed him to withdraw his resignation from the IPS and subsequently even elevated him as state police chief.

Will Mr Pandey’s patient wait fructify or has he run out of options? We’ll wait and see.


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