Delhi HC defers hearing on vacating Herald House to January 16

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday deferred hearing on Associated Journals Limited’s (AJL) plea, challenging the single bench judgment to vacate the National Herald House in the national capital, to January 16.

AJL is the publisher of the National Herald newspaper.

The High Court changes the date at the request of Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Earlier the hearing was scheduled for January 15.

On December 21 last year, the Delhi High Court had dismissed the petition filed by AJL, challenging the Centre’s decision to cancel its lease and vacate the Herald House.

The Centre, in its eviction order passed on October 30 last year, had mentioned the violation of lease conditions by AJL and had said that the Herald House’s 56-year-old lease to AJL had ended.

The publisher had then approached the high court on November 12 last year against the eviction order of the Union Urban Development Ministry.

AJL, in its petition, stated that the Central government’s decision to cancel the lease is “politically motivated.” It further stated that the impugned order is vitiated by mala fides and biases, and had been issued with oblique political motives.

“The proceedings have been initiated for the purposes of scuttling the voices of dissent and the voice of the largest opposition party in the country. 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,” the petition read.

AJL also stated that shutting down National Herald premises was a “deliberate attempt by the government to suppress and destroy the legacy of Nehru.”