National Herald case: Associated Journals Ltd announces it’s now a non-profit, will relaunch newspapers

Asked when will the newspapers be relaunched, AJL chairman and managing director Motilal Vora said it will be done soon.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Updated: January 22, 2016 9:45 am
national herald case, ajl national herald, ajl relaunch, ajl non profit, national herald news, india news, latest news Congress leaders, led by Motilal Vora, in Lucknow for the AJL meeting on Thursday. (Source: Pramod Adhikari)

Amid an ongoing legal battle in a Delhi court involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), which used to publish the now-defunct National Herald, announced Thursday that it will will cease to be a commercial entity and become a non-profit. Its shareholders also decided to relaunch its newspapers.

Also Read: National Herald case: Before entering court, Sonia, others had firmed up Plan B

These decisions were taken in Lucknow at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called to seek the approval of shareholders to convert AJL into a not-for-profit Section 8 company under the Companies Act, 2013. The meeting was attended among others by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sam Pitroda, Oscar Fernandes, Sheila Dikshit, Sandeep Dikshit, Salim Sherwani, Ratna Singh, Jitin Prasada and Syed Sibtey Razi.

Watch Video: What happened when Sonia appeared in court

Asked when will the newspapers be relaunched, AJL chairman and managing director Motilal Vora said it will be done soon.

Chronology of events in the National Herald case

“The members considered and approved a number of resolutions to convert AJL into a not-for-profit company,” Vora told reporters after the nearly thee-hour-long meeting of shareholders for changing the structure of the company.

“We are considering very seriously relaunching the newspapers,” he said when asked when the dailies would hit the stands, including from Lucknow. “These decisions of the members of the company are in pursuance to the revival plan of the company since 2010 which includes its conversion into a not-for-profit entity and relaunching the newspapers,” he said.

Click here to read our full coverage on the National Herald case

The meeting was held against the backdrop of a criminal case instituted by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and five others, including Vora, over the acquisition of AJL by Young Indian, a non profit company under the Companies Act in November, 2010.

As first reported by The Indian Express, the notice for the EGM was issued by Vora. The AJL and its office bearers are in the eye of a political and legal storm ever since Vora, along with other directors in the company, had in December, 2010 transferred its entire equity to a new company Young Indian Ltd (YIL), in which Sonia and Rahul hold majority stake.

The YIL is also a non-profit company though under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, it also has to ensure that its profits and all other incomes are utilised only for the purpose of promoting its objects and not for any other

purpose. In such a company too, profits can’t be distributed as dividend among its members.

Five resolutions were taken up at the EGM, including conversion of the company into Section 8 under the Companies Act, 2013 and accordingly alteration to the memorandum of association, alteration to the articles of association, change of the name of the company and dealing with the preference shares.

Virender Rathore, who was official representative of YIL at the meeting, said, “While the main decision is to turn even the AJL into a non-profit like Young India, which is also a non-profit entity and now has 90 per cent of the shares of AJL, all the other decisions are in accordance with this decision. As far as dealing with the preference shares are concerned, Board of Directors have been authorised to represent the rest of the shareholders.”

Family member of some of the shareholders turned up at the venue since they had got notice from the managing director. But they were told that they would be informed about the decisions. Later, speaking to the media, Vora said, “Notices for the EGM had been duly sent out to all the members of the company.”

Earlier in the day, former employees of AJL publications staged dharna outside the office of AJL in Qaiserbagh demanding benefits at par with those given to employees in Delhi. State Congress president Nirmal Khatri, on behalf of Vora, assured the employees of a separate meeting in Delhi with them. He even offered to pay for the travel of representatives of employees from Lucknow to Delhi.

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  1. R
    Rakesh
    Jan 22, 2016 at 4:23 am
    How can they take such decision now, when the matter is in Court.. It clearly shows their fraud and Corruption.. Swamy , please take note of it and Appeal in the court they should take any such actions until court decision comes out...
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    1. M
      Mervin
      Jan 22, 2016 at 4:04 pm
      Surprised cingress party is depending on a foreigner to lead its party .is there not a worth while hindustani to lead party ,what a shame
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      1. K
        Kanu Patel
        Jan 22, 2016 at 2:16 am
        All this exercise is to save their faces in criminal prosecution.
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        1. R
          Raje
          Jan 22, 2016 at 7:16 am
          This PROVES that CONgris know...GAN-DHIS will LOSE THE CASE in court...so they are preparing the ground to get bails and stay out of court/jail. Such a shamless behavior. If Swamy wouldn't have dragged them to court, they would have gulped down 1000's of crores of property without even a burp. While some shameless creatures here on IE comment that BJP is the one helping only few people, whilst closing their atma on what CONgr dogs do.
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          1. Y
            Yogesh
            Jan 22, 2016 at 5:23 am
            Congress - masters of corruption (as if nothing happened before )
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            1. S
              S.Gonesh
              Jan 22, 2016 at 8:10 am
              An other name of share is ownership. The hi's had the majority of shares on their own names and not on behalf of the Congress party. By crying out the shares belongs to the Congress party, was nothing more but misleading the Nation. This facts on its own is a criminal act. It must be clear to all now, next to the financial dealings, this case is a crimi- nal case. Further more, by trying to change the regulations, shows once more their criminal intention. The his and Congress is a nasty criminal combination, which has to be banned from Indian soil. Hindustan can't be a victim of the Congress gang, therefore the Government must give the Army more power to clean up these criminals. This is important to make Bharat a pleasant and trustful country, besides be chosen means not getting the right to loot.
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              1. K
                Karunakaran
                Jan 22, 2016 at 5:11 am
                The Centre must set up a dedicated University for the Dalits. That is the only way India can ensure the non-Dalit teachers will stop disrespecting India's original inhabitants. US has dedicated universities for the blacks
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                1. R
                  Rangaesh Gadasalli
                  Jan 22, 2016 at 4:20 am
                  They have used the party, the govt and their connections to help one family. they have also taken over prime properties worth billions. now by converting this into a non profit eny, they want to avoid paying taxes. Hope the courts take over the properties and give permission to start any paper, who cares. Hope they are punished. If they go scot free and with just a pat on the back, the nation will lose faith in the judiciary. Dr Swamy is taking this issue since the days he was not even in the party. BJP may be supporting him because Sonia ad her party are giving them headaches in parliament. Swamy gets all the credit.
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                  1. G
                    Gyanesh
                    Jan 22, 2016 at 6:11 am
                    Why the shares of national herald are in the personal capacity of Sonia Rahul vora etc instead of Congress office bearers
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