Tuesday, January 25, 2022

National Herald case: Delhi HC adjourns hearing for Nov 22, asks Centre to maintain status quo

The plea sought quashing of the order on the grounds that it was "illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary, tainted with malafide and without authority and jurisdiction".

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 3, 2020 2:44:00 pm
KohliAfter securing a comfortable 95-run win over Bangladesh in their second warm-up fixture in Cardiff, Indian skipper
National Herald case: Delhi HC adjourns hearing for Nov 22, asks Centre to maintain status quo Status quo will be maintained till next date of hearing on November 22. (File Photo)

The Delhi High Court Thursday adjourned the hearing of the plea of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publisher of the National Herald newspaper, against the Centre’s order asking it to vacate its premises and said the status quo be maintained till next date of hearing on November 22.

The publisher had approached the high court on Monday challenging the October 30 order of the Urban Development Ministry, ending its 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the premises in the press enclave at ITO in Delhi. Appearing for the publisher, Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued in court that the prosecution has ulterior political motives, reported ANI.

The plea sought quashing of the order on the grounds that it was “illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary, tainted with malafide and without authority and jurisdiction”.

The court, which had earlier fixed the date of hearing in December, agreed to hear the matter today after Advocate Sunil Fernandes, appearing for the AJL, said there was urgency in the matter as they have been asked to hand over the possession to the Centre by November 15 and they had received the order of the Land and Development Office (L&DO) on October 30 after which the courts were closed for vacation.

“The petitioner (AJL) has been in lawful possession of the demised premises for the last 56 years (since 1962) and the respondent (Centre) vide the impugned order, seek to dispossess the petitioner and re-enter the premises…,” said the petition, filed through advocate Priyansha Indra Sharma.

It also said the Centre has warned them of action under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971, if they failed to vacate the premises.

One of the grounds mentioned in the L&DO order is that no press has been functioning in the premises for last at least 10 years and that it is being used only for commercial purposes in violation of the lease deed. This allegation has been refuted by the AJL in the petition filed by the firm and its company secretary.

(Inputs from PTI)

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