The Delhi High Court Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Associated Journals Limited challenging an order to evict Delhi’s Herald House premises by the Centre and Land and Development Office (L&DO). Issued on December 30th, the eviction order had mentioned a violation of lease conditions by the publisher of National Herald newspaper. The L&DO has said that no press has been functioning in the premises for at least past 10 years and it was being used only for commercial purposes in violation of the lease deed. The Associated Journals had filed a plea against the order in High Court which was rejected today. The High Court has granted two weeks time to AJL to vacate the building.
On the other hand, the AJL had denied the allegations in the petition filed in the high court. The newspaper said that that publication of web editions began in 2016 and the issue of absence of printing press in the premises was not raised then.
In its order, the court also questioned the way Young Indian Company, where Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are trustees, took over AJL for all the practical purposes.
“AJL has been taken over by Young Indian Company for all practical puposes. This Court is conscious of the fact that Young Indian Company is a charitable company, but modus operandi to acquire 99% of AJL’s shares speaks volumes. The manner in which it has been done is also questionable,” the court said.