The Delhi High Court on Monday, November 12 deferred the petition filed by Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the owner of National Herald newspaper, against the Centre's decision to cancel its lease and vacate the Herald House by November 15 on grounds of violation of lease clauses. The Centre had issued the order on October 30.
Deferring the case to November 15, the single judge bench of Justice Sunil Gaur observed that there was no urgency in the plea and the case filed had not yet reached it for hearing.
The Counsel for Land and Development Office (LDO) had intimated that the department would "initiate proceedings" to have the premises vacated in the case but AJL did not hand it over.
AJL in the petition said that the government decision to cancel the lease is politically motivated and shutting down National Herald premises is a "deliberate attempt by central government to suppress and destroy the legacy of Nehru".
"The impugned order is vitiated by malafide, biased and has been issued with oblique political motives. The proceedings have been initiated for the purposes of scuttling the voices of dissent and the voice of the largest opposition party in the country. It is a clear affront to the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a)of the Constitution and a deliberate attempt to suppress and destroy the legacy of the first Prime Minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru, by the powers that be," stated the AJL petition.