The publisher of the Congress-linked National Herald newspaper must vacate its office in the capital, the Delhi High Court said today, cancelling a petition by the newspaper’s publisher against a December order to vacate.
The high court rejected the appeal of Associated Journals in which it had challenged the centre’s decision asking it to vacate the office space in central Delhi.
The government had told the court that no press had been functioning in the premises for at least 10 years and it had been used only for commercial purposes, in violation of its lease.
Associated Journals limited, which owns National Herald, had gone to the high court against the single judge’s December 21, 2018 order that directed it to vacate the premises at ITO within two weeks, after which eviction proceedings would be initiated.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had alleged that Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi – the Congress president – set up a company to buy debts worth Rs. 90 crore owed by Associated Journals, which publishes three newspapers including National Herald, founded by Jawaharlal Nehru – Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather – before he became India’s first prime minister.
In 2008, Associated Journals had shut down over its debts. The BJP alleges that the Gandhis used Congress party funds to pay off its debts even though the publisher has real estate assets worth thousands of crores.
In November last year, National Herald tweeted that it was being targeted by the BJP government for its growing digital presence.
Subramanian Swamy had filed a case in 2012 against then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, alleging irregularities related to a loan of Rs. 90 crore given by the Congress to the AJL.