Roomy being hauled up by bouncers as he tries to stand his ground
Turmoil rules at SoBo’s swish Breach Candy Swimming Bath Trust (BCSBT), also known as Breach Candy Club, as a faction of members voice against what they claim is long-festering mismanagement.
The BCSBT Concerned Members Forum, held a meeting on Sunday to sign petitions to expedite matters in the court with reference to the club. A member says the anger was “overwhelming, with the attendance close to 400”.
That kind of anger has been simmering for Breach Candy club member Roomy Shroff (54), who has been suspended from the club for the past four years.
His suspension in August 2012 means he cannot access the club. The Parel resident, who has been a member of the club since 1976, says the suspension was for an altercation over a parking issue. He, however, adds that the altercation was only a pretext. “The real reason is that I had started asking uncomfortable questions to the committee… Questions that they did not like.”
Roomy had sent letters to the club asking why high walls had been constructed around the children’s garden and questions related to the tendering process.
After the suspension was slapped, Roomy recalls that in 2013, the club had an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) where he was reinstated. “A few days later, I took a copy of those minutes and tried to enter the club. My son, wife, and uncle were with me. As soon as I entered, I saw bouncers in black. I showed the club staff a copy of the minutes (a copy is with the paper), but I was told that the club did not recognise the EGM. Four bouncers hauled me up, physically carried me and threw me out on the road. It was an intensely humiliating, traumatic experience.”
Roomy says that unlike other suspensions, this one has no time period. “They are trying to prevent me from returning. They wanted revenge.” Roomy added that, “I was physically removed under instructions from Rajesh Nerkar, club manager at the time.”
Roomy said that he had filed a police complaint at Gamdevi police station, after he was evicted but no action has been taken.
“I also filed a case in the High Court, but it is yet to come up for hearing,” said Roomy, adding that despite his suspension, he pays the annual membership fees. Roomy added that the then committee member Dr Rohit Barman had signed his suspension letter.
The other side
Rajesh Nerkar, manager of the club, denied the charges, saying, “I cannot take decisions like evicting people from the club. I have never been part of any of these strong-arm tactics. I am the small fish caught up in this controversy.” Capt. Vikram Malik, part of the committee during the Roomy Shroff case, refused to comment, saying, “The matter is sub-judice. Besides, I am not in Mumbai and I do not wish to say anything. May be, the current in-charge should answer this.” Jeannette Anand, part of the club committee at the time, said, “I have no comments.” Dr Rohit Barman said, “I have been out and retired from the club. Keep me out of this. I have no comments.”