The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its judgement on a plea by Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of Congress-linked newspaper National Herald, challenging a single judge’s order to vacate its premises in New Delhi. The bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao also asked Associated Journals Limited and the central government’s counsels to file written submissions within three days, PTI reported.
The Land and Development Office under the Ministry of Urban Development had asked the Associated Journals to vacate the Herald House building at the Press Enclave in ITO by November 15. The Land and Development Office had ended the 56-year-old lease and asked the company to hand over possession by November 15. If the company failed to do so, the government would initiate proceedings under the Public Premises Act, said the order.
The order of the Land and Development Office, issued on October 30, had claimed that Associated Journals violated the land deed by using the building for commercial purposes as no press has been functioning there for the last 10 years. Associated Journals has denied the allegation, saying that printing work has been continuing over the last several decades.
The Associated Journals had challenged the government’s order, following which a single judge bench of the High Court asked the Centre to maintain status quo till November 22. However, in December, the bench ordered the publishers to vacate the premises within two weeks. Subsequently, the company approach a larger bench of the court.