At the beginning of the hearing, a counsel representing the administrator of the Delhi Gymkhana Club sought adjournment stating that senior advocate Harish Salve was unavailable, as he was not keeping well.
At this juncture, senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, representing a whistle-blower whose services were terminated by the club, submitted before a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, “I have been terminated. They are destroying evidence. People are being removed and the administrator has been changed three times.” Sundaram was representing former secretary Ashish Khanna.
Sundaram further added that the CCTV recording in the office must be preserved, and there should not be any harm to the recording.
The bench also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar said, “There is serious grievance of destruction of evidence”.
The bench told the administrator’s counsel that CCTV should be preserved, otherwise it would issue a direction barring administrator’s entry on the premises.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on his part submitted that the Centre had appointed the administrator and the footage of the CCTV cameras will be preserved.
The bench replied: “If there is a grievance, it must be addressed. What is this resistance by the administrator?”
Mehta clarified that no resistance was being offered.
The bench, in its order, recorded that a letter was circulated that counsel for the administrator is unwell and objection has been taken to the request for adjournment. “The apprehension is expressed that someone is trying to destroy or manipulate the record in the office for CCVTVs installed on the premises, we direct that CCTV footage is preserved from today until further orders. No request for adjournment will be entertained”, said the bench.
The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing next week.
The top court is hearing appeals filed against NCLAT’s order directing the suspension of the general committee of the Delhi Gymkhana Club and appointment of a Centre-nominated administrator to manage the affairs of the Club.
One of the appeals has been filed by the directors of the board (general committee) of the club under Section 423 of the Companies Act, 2013.
The NCLAT’s order had also directed that acceptance of new membership or fee or any enhancement in the fee of waitlist applications be kept on hold till disposal of the petition before the NCLT. The appeal argued that NCLAT order is wholly untenable in law, and virtually spells the death knell of the club and other like institutions.