Delhi Gymkhana Club under CIC lens
Non-compliance of this decision will attract penal action, stated an order passed recently by Central Information Commissioner Bimal Julka. The order was passed following an appeal by a citizen who had sought information on the terms and condition...
Non-compliance of this decision will attract penal action, stated an order passed recently by Central Information Commissioner Bimal Julka.
The order was passed following an appeal by a citizen who had sought information on the terms and conditions of allotment of leased property to DGC. The club refused to provide him this information.
The CIC has asked the ministry of urban development to disclose all information on the lease granted to DGC since 1929 and whether it complied with the provisions of the original Articles of Association (regulations for the club’s operations), and the action taken thereon, along with the associated issues, within 15 days.
The complainant had alleged that DGC was not complying with the lease terms and that the Club membership was “denied to applicants as per the whims and fancies of the administrative authorities”. He said his only stake in the matter was “as (a member of the) public who apprehended that unfair practices were permitted without any check”.
He said he wanted to know the “factual position regarding compliance of the terms by the concerned government authorities”, and listed eleven queries on the club’s working. He also wanted to know if there was any system of periodical inspection by the ministry on the land leased to the club.
Julka said the order was passed “in larger public interest”. “The club is in the heart of the city, and largely on land leased by the government. The public has the right to know how it is functioning, and if there are any violations”.
During the course of the hearing, the DGC stated that it was a private club and was not bound by other considerations. The commission observed that relevant information was not provided to the complainant, and that “it should be the endeavour of the CPIO to ensure that maximum assistance be provided to the RTI applicants to ensure flow of information”.