AJL moves HC against the order to vacate Herald House

Associated Journals Ltd, controlled by Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and others, has approached the Delhi High Court's division bench against an order to vacate 'Herald House' here within two weeks. AFP file photo

Associated Journals Ltd, controlled by Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and others, has approached the Delhi High Court's division bench against an order to vacate 'Herald House' here within two weeks.

The company which published Congress mouthpiece 'National Herald', challenged validity of a single judge order of December 21, which noted that the major portion of the five-storey building at 0.3 acre of the prime land was rented out and there was hardly any press activity as the newspaper has been shifted out to the top floor.

"The impugned order fails to appreciate that the AJL has been publishing a newspaper for the last several decades and that although there was a brief temporary suspension period due to financial troubles, the formal newspaper and digital media operations had fully resumed by the time the impugned notice on October 30 was issued," the appeal stated. 

The company stated that the single judge erred in observing that the petitioners have not ‘cared’ to disclose what is the volume of the publication. It is submitted that the volume of the publication was never an issue. It was neither relevant from the perspective of the provisions of the lease deed, it added.

The AJL also claimed that there was no material on record to justify the finding that the affairs of the appellant-company have been “highjacked” by ‘Young Indian’ controlled by Rahul Gandhi, Sonia and other Congress leaders. 

The company reiterated that the proceedings against it were "selectively initiated and pursued due to malafides, bias and oblique political motives". It is a clear affront to the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and a deliberate attempt to suppress and destroy the legacy of the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru, by the powers that be, it added.

The company sought an immediate stay of the single judge order, otherwise it would lead to irreparable loss and injury.

The Land and Development office had on October 30, last cancelled the lease of 'Herald House' at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and ordered for vacating the building while exercising power under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. 

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AJL moves HC against the order to vacate Herald House

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