Mumbai: The MIG Cricket Club at Bandra (E) is once again into controversy for acting against one more member. Gautam Dongare (66), who accused the club over mismanagement of public funds (membership fees), thus weakening the financial status of the club has been suspended for a period of three months, effective from March 26.
During his suspension period he will not be entitled to any rights or privileges of the club, which is also applicable to his associate member. In this case, the associate member is his wife, who also won’t be allowed to enter and use the facilities of the MIG club.
In a similar kind of case, The Free Press Journal had reported on how Abhishek Chincholikar, another member of this club was harassed for complaining to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) against the construction of the alleged illegal monsoon shed structure. His name was put on a notice board, which Chincholikar claimed had spoilt his reputation.
In Dongare’s suspension notice, dated March 25, 2019, a copy of which is with The Free Press Journal, club management mentions, “Several members at the time of 47 Annual General Meeting (AGM) expressed disgust about your remark against the managing committee and the Board of Trustees and thus felt the need that said baseless allegation if not proved, warrants strict action.”
Dongare, a practising advocate from the Bombay High Court, who has a lifetime membership in MIG Club claims that he faces this wrath for pointing out the club’s depleting funds. In 2017 when he noticed losses first, after receiving the club’s annual financial report along with the balance sheet, he questioned the management through letters about it.
It made them uncomfortable, he alleges. “I raised questions because till 2015, the club’s general reserves funds was Rs 2.25 crore and in 2018 it has come down to Rs 3.23 lakh, which showed in the club’s annual financial report. There is a clear depletion in funds.
Moreover, as per the latest balance sheet of the financial year 2018, total reserve of the club stands at Rs 58.02 crore. Whereas, the club has an impending expenditure of Rs 53.65 crore towards MHADA. The club’s total reserves is only Rs 58 crore (moveable and non moveable assets).
I believe, the club will not exist if it has to pay the MHADA. As Rs 58 crore includes cash reserves, investments, building, equipment, the furniture and fixture. Everything needs to be sold out, only then they can make this payment. Which is why I am worried, as to how the club plans to handle this all,” exclaims Dongare.
The MHADA had slapped a notice to MIG Cricket Club to pay a compensation of Rs 53.65 crore for breach of 2004 lease agreement for failure to construct a school agreed between both. A decision was made in the MHADA’s authority meeting which was held before the model code of conduct for 2019 election had come into effect. Even after repeated calls and SMSs seeking a comment on the issue, the MIG Club authority refused to get back to us.