Mumbai: Riders' Club member training Anil Kapoor's son without permission
A committee member of the Amateur Riders’ Club (ARC) at Mahalaxmi Racecourse is now in the dock for training actor Harshvardhan Kapoor son of actor Anil Kapoor in horse riding and polo for his upcoming debut film, ‘Mirza Sahibaan’ without the club’s consent.
Managing committee member Mitesh Mehta was allegedly training actor Harshvardhan Kapoor (above) in horse riding and polo on ARC premises without the club’s consent. File pic
According to the club members, the filmmakers had first approached ARC for the training, but the deal ultimately fell through. So, it was unethical for Mitesh Mehta, a member of the managing committee, to then take up the training commission without informing the club, they alleged.
On November 26, Rinaa Shah, an ARC member, noticed Mehta training Harshvardhan and another person — presumably the film’s crew member and wrote an e-mail to the committee to inform them that the club’s property was being used for commercial purposes.
In her letter, Shah alleged that Mehta was using the club’s property to teach two people from the film industry. She complained that even though her guests are avid riders, they were only allowed to use the club’s facilities six times a month. She pointed out that since the actor was being trained at the club, perhaps the club’s rules had been amended, and her guests would like to visit more often as well.
The club’s committee was shocked with the revelation, as they had also been approached to train the actor in February. According to officials, filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s wife, Bharathi, had written to the managing committee seeking permission to train two people between February and May.
The committee initially quoted a fee of R15 lakh, but later brought it down to R9 lakh. Despite that, the deal didn’t take off. “Since Mehta was part of the managing committee, he was aware of this offer. If the committee had refused the offer, it was unethical on his part to train the same crew while keeping the club in the dark,” said a source from the ARC.
Not horsing around
The committee seems serious about probing the lapse, and the club has now formed a three-member panel to investigate the matter. The panel is supposed to file the facts of the case before the managing committee, based on which the club will initiate action against Mehta.
Another club member said, “He cannot get away with this just because he is a committee member. In the past, the club has even charged members for the use of facilities, so why should someone who is making commercial gain out of the place be spared?”
One of the committee members, Prakash Mehta confirmed that he had been appointed to the panel to investigate the issue, but refused to comment further. Meanwhile, Mitesh Mehta told mid-day, “It is difficult for me to comment on the matter. I will let the matter take its course, and we will know what the facts are.”