Mumbai: Breach Candy Club row all set to get uglier

Updated: Nov 15, 2016, 09:12 IST | Hemal Ashar

Breach Candy Club members cite tipping point in battle against dethroned chairman Dipesh Mehta; warn battle may get ugly with more revelations

The slide behind Mahesh Jethmalani talks about exposing wrongdoings at the club. Pic/Satej Shinde
The slide behind Mahesh Jethmalani talks about exposing wrongdoings at the club. Pic/Satej Shinde

On November 12, a faction of members of the swanky Breach Candy Club declared open season against former chairman Dipesh Mehta, in what turned out to be a three-year battle in the making. They raked Mehta over the coals for his three-year reign, which included allegations of misappropriation of accounts to favourtism in awarding memberships.

Now, those opposing Mehta have upped the ante, stating that, “people were allowing things to go on, as they were too wrapped up in their own affairs to take serious note of what was going on inside the Club. They claimed that it was only when, Mehta and Co. “carved out an acre of the club plot within the premises to hand over to a developer that he went too far”.

What the wall!
Members stated that it was back in 2012 that they noticed a wall being built inside the club premises. Gerald Shirley, part of the Breach Candy Swimming Bath Trust (BCSBT) Concerned Members Forum, the newly-formed forum determined to expose Mehta, said, “The wall was abutting a play area for children. We noticed that the wall was going all the way towards the seaside, behind the club. Then, fear spread that Mehta along with the managing committee was in talks with a developer to construct within the club. It was then that he was taken to court and the project seems to have been abandoned.”

Meanwhile, other members were marvelling at Mehta’s ‘audacity’. “He came into the club as an outsider, as a legal advisor to liaison with the BMC. Then, he managed to become chairman,” said advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who is also a club member, adding, “much as we marvel at his machinations, it is time more members woke up to what is going on at the club, took an active interest so that the scam can be stopped.”

Staff was ‘bullied’
Apart from the carving of the plot, the other thing that became the tipping point to act was the appointment of “key senior employees who would carry out his orders”.

Archit Jayakar, lawyer for the Breach Candy Club, says, “Some of those associated with him were made members of the club because of their association. Some juniors of his firm were on the club’s payroll.” A club member states that they are going to expose how “Mehta threatened the club staff if they opposed him or spoke against him, with several complaints against him filed with the police.” This is just, “the tip of the iceberg. The staff bullying will be shocking,” he stated, giving an indication of the ugly turn the war is going to take.

The other side is AWOL
Meanwhile, repeated attempts to contact Dipesh Mehta were in vain. Messages went unanswered. An office staffer who answered his cell phone stated that Mehta was in a meeting and could not answer his phone.

1878
The year in which the club was formed. It was reserved only for Europeans till a civil court order in 1967 to induct Indians

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