Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the Associated Journals Ltd, publisher of the Indian National Congress-linked National Herald newspaper, to vacate its headquarter in Central Delhi, ITO Area within two weeks. On November 22, Justice Sunil Gaur had reserved his order in the land lease case.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Subramanian Swamy had filed a case against the then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul, along with other leaders of the party Oscar Fernandes, Motilal Vohra and Sam Pitroda, alleging their involvement in massive ‘cheating and breach of trust’ in the acquisition of AJL by Young Indian Pvt Ltd. He had averred that assets worth crores of rupees had been allegedly transferred for purposes other than originally intended.
AJL had challenged the October 30 order of the Urban Development Ministry, which had ended its 56-year-old lease and asked it to vacate the premises in the Press Enclave at ITO by November 15 on grounds of violation of the agreement. Counsel, representing the Land and Development Office, contended that it was malicious prosecution and impugned order vitiated by mala fides and ulterior political motives.
Welcoming the HC’s decision, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs asserted that the dismissal of the petition filed by AJL has justified Government re-entry of the premises at 5-A, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
In a statement, the ministry said, “the Court has further ordered that there is no impediment in the way of the Government to invoke the provisions of PP Act to seek eviction of petitioners, in case they do not voluntarily vacate the premises and hand over its vacant possession to the Govt within a period of two weeks by 03.01.2019. By this decision, the Court has vindicated the stand of the Government.”
However, Indian National Congress, unfazed by the verdict, said that the parties have the constitutional right to appeal and express faith in the court of law. Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, “this is a legal case. The parties have the Constitutional right to appeal. We feel that there is no violation of rules and have full faith in the court of law.’’
The Insides Speak.