Major developments took place in the National Herald case on Thursday, as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were dealt a setback at the Delhi High Court, and so was ex-Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Meanwhile, Republic TV has also accessed a RTI response to BJP MP Dr Subramaian Swamy which contains a show-cause notice issued to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the publisher of the National Herald newspaper, which is owned by Young Indian limited, which is majority-owned by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi.
The Delhi High Court granted no stay on the eviction notice, adjourning the hearing till November 22.
Here are 10 developments in the matter:
- Senior Congress leader Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented AJL in the Delhi High Court, and in his argument said one of the main grounds for seeking eviction was that there was no proper functioning printing press at the Herald House. In AJL’s defense, Singhvi stated that ‘press does not mean there has to be a fully-functional printing press all the time’ and cited details of the company's online media activities.
- Dr Singhvi, in defence of the Young Indian Pvt Ltd, whose major stakeholders are Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, argued that it is a 98% shareholder of AJL and not the sole owner of AJL. He went to assert that AJL is a Section 25 company which does not allow it to pay any profits of the company to the shareholders or the directors of the company.
- Land and Development officers Gopal Rastogi and KS Rana initiated eviction proceedings at the Herald House as the hearing in the High Court was going on -- something Dr Singhvi pointed out.
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the government will not take forceful possession of the Herald House property. He added, ‘Gopal Rastogi has been directed only to initiate the eviction proceedings.'
- The Delhi High Court granted no stay to AJL on the eviction notice, with the next hearing to take place on November 22.
- Republic TV exclusively accessed a show-cause notice dated June 18, 2018, issued to the Chairman of the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the Land and Development Officer has stated that "after the inspection at the premises (Herald House) by the officials, it was observed that most of the area was rented out and that AJL has violated the lease deed, by misuses and unauthorized construction at the Herald House."
- The show-cause application detailed the exactly how the agreement by which AJL had come into possession of Herald House in New Delhi had been violated, leading to the eviction notice
- Meanwhile, a sanction has been granted by the Haryana Governor to prosecute former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda over land allotted to National Herald in Panchkula, as per sources.
- Hooda, responding to the newsbreak, called the sanction issued by the Haryana Governor ‘a political vendetta’ against him. “All this is politically motivated. The decision was taken by the entire authority and not one person. I have full faith in the judiciary. This is a political agenda against me. I have done nothing wrong’.
- Dr. Subramanian Swamy, who filed the case against the then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi alleging irregularities in the loan of Rs 90 crore given by the Congress to the AJL, gave his statement after Haryana Governor gave sanction to prosecute Hooda. Dr Swamy said, "Sonia Gandhi is already out on bail and Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vohra and others are on bail. So, he is an additional name.'
READ: MASSIVE: Haryana Governor Gives Sanction To Prosecute Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda In AJL Case
READ: SETBACK FOR GANDHIS: No Stay On AJL's Eviction From Herald House; Sanction To Prosecute Ex-Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda Granted