Mahalaxmi Racecourse: Gallops contract issue heats up

Apr 25, 2015, 08:51 IST | Hemal Ashar

EOGM called at Mahalaxmi Racecourse today with RWITC factions divided over restaurant’s contract row with BMC

The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) voting member base has been called for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) at 5:45 pm today. The meeting, to be held in the Members’ Enclosure of Mahalaxmi, should see an interesting twist to events.

The Gallops restaurant at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, which has been shut down for a few days now. PIC/SHADAB KHAN
The Gallops restaurant at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, which has been shut down for a few days now. Pic/Shadab Khan

The meeting has been requisitioned by past RWITC chairman SC Jain, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Vivek Jain and others.

It asks members to vote against any settlement by the RWITC with the BJR group.

The BJR group refers to Gallops, the restaurant on the turf, which has been shut down for a few days now due to the BMC stating that the restaurant does not have some license.

The senior members, who have requisitioned for the EOGM, have been telling voting members of the club that the BJR has failed to pay the RWITC legal dues for over six years, claimed tenancy and filed suits against the Club in various courts. They have also cautioned them against a proposed RWITC settlement with BJR as it entails a loss of approximately R40 crore to the club till 2018.

The letter requisitioning the AGM states: “Such a large write off has to and must first be approved by the members and good corporate governance demands that.”

The letter also states that the chairman (K Dhunjibhoy) must encourage a healthy debate ‘prior to the start of voting’ so that all views are heard for members to make an informed decision.

Yet, K Dhunjibhoy and his supporters have urged members in a letter that if they approved of the resolution proposal by the requisitionists (Vivek Jain & Co) “you are committing the club to crores of rupees in litigation for the next 10/15 years. We recommend you to DISSENT from the resolution.”

It states that one can only hope that an informed decision is taken and the matter is settled so that the club starts earning R3 crore a year rather than getting ‘nothing’ which has been happening since 2009.

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