FCC of South Asia “president” Munish Gupta faces big legal setback just before elections
Delhi court allows senior journalist Pankaj Yadav to gain access into the Club
Delhi Crown Bureau
New Delhi, Feb. 23: Dirty tricks played by Munish Gupta, the “president” of New Delhi-based Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia (FCC of South Asia), and his lawyer Umesh Sharma over the past one-and-a-half years ago fell flat on Monday (Feb. 20) when a Delhi court allowed senior journalist Pankaj Yadav entry into the Club. The court order was uploaded on the court’s official website on Thursday (Feb. 23).
In journalistic circles Munish Gupta is seen as an “outsider” as he is said to be lacking any genuine journalistic credentials, and is not even accredited with the Government of India like many other journalist-members of the Club.
Senior journalist Pankaj Yadav, an elected member of the Club’s Managing Committee who has been into active journalism for over 26 years, was arbitrarily “expelled” from the Club in November 2021. Thereafter, the duo – Munish Gupta and Umesh Sharma, moved the Patiala House Courts pleading that Yadav be restrained from entering into the Club.
Over the past one-and-a-half years the duo produced false and fabricated affidavits and evidence (before the court) “procured” under pressure from different staff members of the Club to prove their case. The court took cognizance of all those false and fabricated affidavits and evidence while pronouncing its order dated Feb. 20.
“But, Truth won at last. No one is above the law in this country. One who takes to playing dirty tricks by producing false and fabricated cases before the law, has to face the music one day. Exactly the same happened in this case too. Yadav has been allowed access to the Club,” said a jubilant aide of Yadav while showing a copy of the Court Order.
He said, “Senior Lady Advocate Sunita Bhardwaj put up a strong case for Pankaj Yadav and argued well before the court. She pointed out all the anomalies in the petitions and subsequent applications filed by Munish Gupta and Umesh Sharma. After hearing the case on merit and taking a strong note of all the false and fabricated affidavits and evidence produced by Munish Gupta and Umesh Sharma, the judge gave the much-needed relief to Yadav.”
A Club staff confirmed to www.thedelhicrown.com that Yadav entered the Club on Thursday (Feb.23) holding a copy of the Court Order. Under directions and advice from Munish Gupta and Umesh Sharma, the Club Manager tried to confront Pankaj Yadav for gaining entry into the Club. After having arguments with Yadav, and failing to prevail upon him to leave the Club (despite the Court Order), the Club Manager dialled the PCR and called the police.
“Finally two cops came from the Tilak Marg Police Station arrived. Pankaj Yadav showed the Court Order to the cops and explained his case much to their satisfaction. After hearing Yadav’s case, the two cops expressly told the Club Manager that now since it’s an order from the Court, the police has no locus standi to take any action, and left the Club much to the embarrassment of the Club Manager,” said the Club staff on the condition of anonymity.
According to sources, Pankaj Yadav has been an active member of the Club for over 20 years. A former Treasurer, Yadav has been a part of several Managing Committees in the past.
In the elections held in March 2021, Munish Gupta and Pankaj Yadav, besides six others, were elected to the Managing Committee. “Ever since Yadav became a part of the Managing Committee, he insisted on seeing/inspecting the bills of all the purchases made for the Club and all other expenses made for the day-to-day running of the Club. But Munish Gupta was hell bent on not showing the bills to Yadav. Soon a tiff arose between the two. Finally, on the advice and guidance of lawyer Umesh Sharma, Gupta got rid of Pankaj Yadav by arbitrarily expelling him from the Club. A notice to the effect is still being flashed on the Club’s website,” said a member of the present Managing Committee.
According to a member of the Club, Munish Gupta is a non-journalist and has no credentials in media except the fact that his father K.N. Gupta was a long-standing journalist.
“Munish Gupta’s sister Manoranjana Sinh, the estranged wife of Late Congress leader Matang Sinh, was jailed for her role in the infamous Saradha Scam that had rocked the nation a decade ago,” added the member.
Next elections for the Club’s new Managing Committee are due to be held in March 2023. Elections here are held after every two years.