HC reserves order on plea against Centre’s decision to vacate Herald House

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its order on the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) plea challenging the Central government’s October 30 direction asking it to vacate the Herald House.

Justice Sunil Gaur extended the high court’s interim direction to maintain status quo till his further orders.

The court was hearing AJL plea alleging that the Centre was “illegally, unconstitutionally, arbitrarily and in a deliberate attempt” trying “to suppress and destroy the legacy of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru”.

The Central government has, however, refuted the claim.

The Urban Development Ministry had said the Herald House’s 56-year-old lease to AJL had ended and asked the AJL to vacate the premises by November 15.

The publisher had approached the high court on November 12 challenging the October 30 order of the Ministry.

The AJL told the court that it has been publishing the “National Herald” newspaper for decades. There was a temporary suspension due to financial trouble, but the newspaper and its digital media operations has now fully resumed.

The publication of weekly “National Herald on Sunday” was resumed on September 24, 2017 and it is published from the Herald House. On October 14, the AJL also resumed its weekly Hindi newspaper.

The government reportedly inspected the premises a few months ago and found that the area allotted to AJL was not being used for the publication of the newspaper for the past 10 years, the court was told.