Credentials of Foreign Correspondents Club prez. Venkat Narayan challenged before Delhi court

Credentials of Foreign Correspondents Club prez. Venkat Narayan challenged before Delhi court

"S. Venkat Narayan & Simran Sodhi are hands in glove in siphoning-off the money from the bank accounts of the FCC of South Asia," alleges the petitioner

Ministry of External Affairs too arrayed as one of the defendants

Delhi Crown Bureau

New Delhi: A petition has been filed before the Patiala House Courts challenging the credentials of some of the current office-bearers of the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) of South Asia, particularly president S. Venkat Narayan, Secretary Prakash Nanda, executive member on the Governing Committee Simran Sodhi, and Treasurer P.M. Narayan, besides others including Deepak Dwivedi and Agha Jaalani.

S. Venkat Narayan is the same gentleman who stoked up a major controversy last year when he had misused the FCC of South Asia’s name/platfiorm while visiting Myanmar and meeting the junta government there. A bunch of foreign journalists had then given up their Club’s membership as a mark of protest against his “surreptitious visit” made to the troubled nation.

Interestingly, the External Publicity and Public Diplomacy (XPD) Division Ministry of the Government of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Ministry has been arrayed as the Defendant No. 7 in the civil suit !

After hearing the petition on April 8, Civil Judge at Patiala House Courts Swati Gupta reserved the order for April 16.

In her petition, the petitioner alleged that the above mentioned office-bearers of the Club were “not associated with any foreign media”, and that they had managed to grab different positions in the Governing Committee of the prestigious journalists club through fraudulent means without holding any election as per the Club’s Constitution and bye-laws.

According to the petitioner, General Secretary Prakash Nanda was “attached” with a private limited company known as “Uday India Communications Private Limited”, S. Venkat Narayan “didn’t work as columnist with any foreign media”, and Simran Sodhi “falsely claims” herself to be an independent journalist of “Khaleej Times”.

The petitioner also alleged in the civil suit that the above mentioned office-bearers of the FCC of South Asia had “joined hands and engaged in serious acts of fraud, forgery, cheating, and fabrication of documents and taking out money from the accounts of the Club and doing other siphoning off the funds.”

“They are daily renting out the conference halls of the club on rent and pocketing the money illegally. They are also pocketing the money of sale from the restaurant and bar of the club. They are using force and fear to terrorise the Club’s staff and taking away money by force criminally,” she further alleged in her plea.

Pressing for de-recognition of the above mentioned as foreign journalists, the petitioner has prayed before the court for a Decree that S. Venkat Narayan, Prakash Nanda, Simran Sodhi, PM Narayan, Agha Jaalani and Deepak Dwivedi were not “foreign journalists” as they were not getting their incomes in terms of Clause 4 of the bye-laws of the FCC of South Asia.

She also prayed for a Court Decree against the XPD Division of External Affairs Ministry to initiate actions in accordance with law against the above mentioned journalists for making “fake and false claim of being foreign journalists”.

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