Mumbai: The Bandra Police booked the president and 15 members of the posh Bandra Gymkhana on Friday, after a city-based advocate, Adil Khatri, approached the police and alleged violations by the accused members during the countrywide lockdown.
The police have booked the accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and COVID-19 Regulations. The Gymkhana authorities, however, have refuted the charges and alleged a political vendetta.
According to the First Information Report, the President of Bandra Gymkhana, Dr Cheryl Misquita, was seen dancing and celebrating the 85th anniversary of the club in a video uploaded on May 4 on YouTube.
The complainant, Khatri, came across the video on May 6 and sent an online complaint to the Mumbai Police regarding the alleged violations of social distancing and lockdown.
In a statement recorded by the police, Khatri said, "I saw a video uploaded on May 4, which stated 'Bandra Gymkhana Anthem Celebrating 85 Glorious Years,' wherein Dr Misquita and 15 other people were singing and holding a red flag.
None of the members were seen wearing a face mask in the video.'' Rather, the masks were seen hanging from their neck or were held in hand, it is alleged.
Acting on the complaint, the Bandra Police booked the 16 members of Bandra Gymkhana under relevant sections of the IPC. The video in question, which was allegedly uploaded on May 4, went off social media after the matter turned 'controversial'.
The allegations pointed out by Khatri were however denied by the Gymkhana members. One of the members reportedly claimed that the video was shot in part in days before the lockdown was announced and uploaded in May. Even as the Gymkhana had closed all its sections in compliance with the government orders, the office continues to function, it is claimed.