National Herald Case: Delhi HC defers hearing date to Jan 16 on AJL plea

Delhi-High-Court

The Delhi High Court Double Bench on Wednesday deferred the hearing of a petition to Jan 16 filed by the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publisher of the National Herald newspaper, challenging a single-judge bench order to vacate the Herald House.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao deferred the hearing to January 16 after it was informed that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and the AJL counsel and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi are not available to argue the case on Jan 15.

Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald newspaper, on Jan 5 approached the Divisional Bench of the Delhi High Court challenging a single judge order asking it to vacate the premises in press enclave at ITO.

The petition filed by the AJL has also sought a stay on the operation of single judge’s December 21, 2018 order. Advocate Sunil Fernandes, who appeared for AJL, said the appeal was filed on Saturday evening and it is likely to come up for hearing on January 9.

Earlier on December 21, Delhi High Court dismissed the petition filed by Associated Journals Limited challenging the eviction order of Oct 30 by land and development authority. The Delhi High Court also granted two-weeks time to vacate Herald House to AJL.

The Centre in its eviction order had mentioned a violation of lease conditions by the publisher of National Herald newspaper.

The publisher had approached the high court on November 12 against the October 30 order of the Urban Development Ministry, asking it to vacate the building by November 15 stating that Herald House’s 56-year-old lease to Associated Journals Limited had ended.

The Publishers in the plea termed the Centre Government decision as ‘Politically Motivated’. It further stated that Order is intent to deceive, bais and is Politically Influenced.

Associated Journals Ltd. in its petition in Delhi HC single judge bench also accused the Government and said, Shutting Down of National Herald Premises is an attempt to suppress and destroy the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru.

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