New Delhi, January 16: The Delhi High Court division bench today postponed the date of hearing of an appeal by National Herald Publisher Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), challenging a single judge order asking it to vacate the Herald House.
The division bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon cited some health issues and said he has to undergo some surgery and can take up the matter any day after January 24 and further asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on the behalf of AJL if "the case could wait another week" upon which they agreed.
The bench also comprising Justice V K Rao listed the appeal for hearing on January 28.
It is to be noted, AJL is the publisher of the National Herald newspaper.
Last year on December 21, a single judge bench had dismissed AJL's petition challenging the Centre's order to vacate Herald House and granted 2 weeks period to the publisher to vacate the ITO premises after which eviction proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971, would be initiated.
The single judge bench in its order had said, “AJL has been "hijacked" by Young Indian (YI), in which Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are shareholders.”
Last year on October 30, the Centre, passed the eviction order in which violations of lease conditions by AJL has been duly mentioned the and had said that the Herald House's 56-year-old lease to AJL had ended, adding no printing or publishing activity was going on.
The High Court had dismissed AJL's plea challenging the Centre's order as publisher failed to prove the serious allegations of malafide against the ruling dispensation.
After not being satisfied with the decision of single judge bench, AJL approached the High Court seeking a stay on its order and had also denied the allegations against it.
In its petition, AJL has also said the digital versions of English newspaper National Herald, Hindi's Navjivan and Urdu's Qaumi Awaz have commenced from 2016-17.
The weekly newspaper 'National Herald on Sunday' resumed on September 24, 2017, and the place of publication was the ITO premises, AJL had said, adding that the Hindi weekly newspaper Sunday Navjivan was being published since October last year from the same premises.