Monday, July 03, 2017

‘Elitist’ Delhi Golf Club Leases Government Land Worth Rs 47, 000 Crore for ‘Petty Sum’

Eclectic NorthEast: New Delhi: Monday, July 03, 2017.
Delhi Golf Club, the elite golf club situated in the capital city of India, has recently found itself in the eye of the storm after a Khasi lady named Tailin Lyngdoh was asked to leave the club for wearing what according to them was a ‘maid’s uniform.’ Following the incident, there has been widespread criticism of the elitist and racist attitude of the club. Interestingly, the upmarket club which looks down upon the masses of this country was declared by the Central Information Commission to be a ‘public authority’ and thus answerable to the public.
Real story of Delhi Golf Club
The ruling was delivered by Information Commissioner M.L. Sharma on August 30, 2013 in response to an appeal filed by intrepid RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, whose RTI application of September 2012 was turned down because the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) had responded by saying it was a registered company under the provisions of the Companies Act 1956, and not a public authority.
Considering the Central government’s influence in the management of and the ‘financial generosity’ showered on it in terms of leasing it a large chunk of land for a ‘petty consideration’, Sharma said he held the DGC to be a public authority ‘on this ground alone.’
Sharma, who was part of the full bench that recently held political parties to be public authorities under the RTI Act, also said that the presence of senior government officers in the DGC management committee ‘leaves no manner of doubt in my mind that the Central government exercises reasonable amount of control over the affair’ of the club.
The CIC has held that the DGC, spread across land valued at nearly Rs 47,000 crore, is paying the minor amount of Rs 5.82 lakh per year to the government as lease consideration. Sharma said there was overwhelming disproportion between the market value of the land and rental and licence fee being paid by the club.
This exposes the dual nature of the club. At one hand, it is enjoying its perks on tax payers money and on the other hand, it is stopping the same taxpayers from entering the club. Meanwhile, a lot is being done to ensure that justice is served to Tailin Lyngdoh. The NE MP’s forum is making a personal representation to the Prime Minister. PIL is being moved by Kong Patricia and several other citizens in the Supreme Court and NESO will be moving the ST Commission. Women’s commission has already sent memorandums but will now be moving the ST commission to take Suo moto action.