The Delhi High Court will on January 16 hear an appeal by the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald, challenging last month’s court order asking the firm to vacate the Herald House premises within two weeks.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao fixed the matter for next week due to non-availability of arguing counsel from both sides.
The AJL, which was asked to vacate the premises within two weeks, sought a stay on the order issued by a single judge on December 21 last year.
The single judge had rejected AJL’s plea challenging the order by Land and Development Office (L&DO) on October 30, 2018, ending the firm’s 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the premises in Press Enclave at ITO in central Delhi. The single judge had observed that the subject premises were leased out to AJL for publication of National Herald, “but the dominant purpose is now practically lost”.
The single judge had clarified that eviction proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971, would be initiated if the premises were not vacated. Appealing against the order, the AJL said it has been publishing a newspaper for several decades and though there was a period of temporary suspension, the newspaper and digital media operations had fully resumed by the time the notice was issued.