January 7, 2010
Looks like Gallops may soon be closing down with the Turf Club canceling their contract. Guests are now being charged between 60 and 125 to enter Gallops by Turf Club. There is some more news about Gallops going to court about the whole issue.
The battle between the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) and South Mumbai’s famous Gallops restaurant seems to get murkier as the latter has threatened to move the Bombay High Court citing contempt of court orders. The RWITC on Monday published a public notice informing the termination of the contract of Gallops restaurant that is situated at Mahalaxmi Race Course.
Following several alleged irregularities including awarding of the contract to run the restaurant, the RWITC had terminated the BJR group’s agreement in December, 2009. While RWITC chairman (marketing and media) Vivek Jain confirmed that contract has been terminated, he said the restaurant is still open for members and their guests.
However, the BJR group, which had filed a case against RWITC in the small causes court regarding fixing of standard rent for using the premises, has now threatened to move the Bombay High Court.
“The small causes court had issued a stay in the matter stating that no person can be stopped from entering Gallops and the restaurant shall get uninterrupted supply of electricity. However, the RWITC has been stopping non-members who are not guests from coming to Gallops and the electricity supply has also been disconnected on several occasions,” said Mohanbir Singh, lawyer for BJR’s group. “The RWITC has violated the court orders and we will be filing a case in the High Court.”
Gallops has also refused to pay the annual rent of Rs 3.25 crore to RWITC.
The BJR group has been running the restaurant since 1986 and mired in controversy after the BMC objected to the agreement between RWITC and BJR. According to the BMC, since RWITC was a lessee it had no rights to ‘sub-lease’ portions of the BMC-owned land to another group, without its formal approval. The BMC alo alleged that Gallops had made illegal extensions without civic body’s permission.
Mumbai: The Gallops restaurant at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse is now almost out-of-bounds for the public. The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), which manages the racecourse, has imposed restrictions on access to the restaurant.
As per a circular issued by the club’s managing committee on December 23, those who are not members of the RWITC have to have pay an entry fee even to visit the restaurant. From Monday to Thursday, the fee is Rs60 per person; on Friday and Saturday it is Rs125.
Restrictions have also been placed on the parking of cars within the racecourse premises.
RWITC chairman Vivek Jain said the restrictions were imposed for reasons of security. “We have been advised to increase security at the racecourse,” he said. “It will not affect the restaurant.” But the BJR Group, which runs the restaurant, called the new measures a “deliberate harassment tactic”.
The restaurant management and the club authorities have been at loggerheads for a while now. Citing payment defaults and failure to rectify illegalities identified by the BMC, the club has already terminated the restaurant’s contract. The decision has been challenged by BJR in court. The two sides are embroiled in not one but three legal cases.
MBS & Co, advocates for BJR, termed the restrictions a violation of the directives issued by the small causes court on November 23, 2009. “The court had asked the status quo to be maintained,” a representative of the firm said. Claiming that the restrictions are affecting its clientele, the BJR Group has decided to file a contempt petition against the club in the Bombay high court.
According to the MBS representative, the club illegally disconnected power supply to the restaurant on three separate occasions after issuing the circular. He also alleged that no such restrictions were imposed on two other restaurants — Olive and Tote — and on parties organised in the members’ enclosure.
Jain, however, said the other two restaurants were not on the club’s premises. He said the same security measures were being followed for parties.