‘Liquor given on directions of Col. Ashish Khanna’, EoW in Delhi Gymkhana Club liquor theft case

In an additional status report in the Delhi High Court, the EOW said from the investigation conducted so far, it has been revealed that liquor was given to Raj Dhawan and Cdr Akhil Sirohi on the directions of Col Khanna.

New Delhi: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has opposed an FIR quashing a petition in the Delhi High Court in a liquor theft of Rs 2 lakh at the elite Delhi Gymkhana Club involving its former secretary Colonel Ashish Khanna (retired), during the first Covid lockdown in the capital.

In an additional status report in the Delhi High Court, the EOW said from the investigation conducted so far, it has been revealed that liquor was given to Raj Dhawan and Cdr Akhil Sirohi on the directions of Col Khanna.

“Raj Dhawan is the member of the club and has no direct control on the affairs of Gymkhana Club while Cdr Akhil Sirohi was the chairman of Bar & Beverages Sub Committee. Any shortcoming is required to be reported to committee whereas he himself (Cdr Akhil Sirohi) was engaging in taking liquor illegally,” said the report dated August 23.

Khanna was terminated from service on August 4.

The report added that two handwritten slips, which are stated to be in writing of Col Khanna were produced by the club wherein name of Dhawan has been mentioned.

It further added that security supervisor Santosh Kumar stated these hand written slips were given by Khanna with directions to hand over to security manager Nandlal and briefed him that after opening of liquor bar, shortage of liquor would be adjusted against the name of members mentioned on the slips.

In those slips, names of Dhawan along with Sirohi and others were mentioned, said the EOW.

“Col Ashish Khanna was also examined, who admitted his hand writing on the handwritten slips which were handed over to Santosh Kumar. Original handwritten slips have been sent to FSL along with specimen handwriting of Col Ashish Khanna… Result of FSL is awaited,” said the EOW report.

The EOW said after the FSL result, the investigation will be concluded and in view of the facts and circumstances, the present quashing petition of FIR is opposed and further investigation in the case is in progress.

The response came on an FIR quashing petition filed by Dhawan.

The EoW said two members of the club were also examined and their statements u/s 161 CrPC were recorded, wherein they supported the case. Also, Vikram Kapoor, complainant of the case, then officiating secretary was also examined and his statement u/s 161 CrPC recorded, wherein he also supported the case.

The EoW status report, on Khanna’s FIR quashing petition, said: “Nandlal stated in his statement that Col Ashish Khanna has directed him to make allotment of liquor as per note to cover up the discrepancies in stock.”

The report was submitted in the high court in January this year.

“Former Bar Manager, Dhan Singh stated that Col Ashish Khanna has directed him to adjust shortage of liquor and directed him to ask for details from Nandlal, Ex Security Manager. Mr Nandlal had provided details of shortage liquor which was found the same on inventory inspection dated 06.06.2020,” said the report.

The Delhi Gymkhana Club had indicted Khanna, Sirohi, and Dhawan, for alleged misappropriation of liquor stock worth Rs 2.14 lakhs during the first lockdown.

A complaint was lodged at the Chanakyapuri police station on September 17, 2020 and the complainant was transferred to EOW and a case was registered on November 6, 2021.

The Delhi Gymkhana Club had constituted a committee on September 8, 2020, to look into the shortage of liquor stock.

The report submitted by this committee on September 15, 2020 alleged illegal withdrawal of liquor from the club’s bar stock by Khanna, Sirohi, and Dhawan.

When contacted over the phone for a response on the story, Col Ashish Khanna threatened the journalist and also claimed to have recorded the telephonic conversation.

When specifically asked to respond to the EOW’s status report, Khanna said it is a false liquor FIR and claimed he is a court and government-appreciated sole whistleblower and the entire complaint was a cover-up to hide fraud committed by the Delhi Gymkhana Club.

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