Herald case: HC orders status quo till Nov 22
New Delhi: The publisher of the National Herald newspaper, which was ordered by the Centre to vacate its premises here by November 15, got a last minute breather Thursday with the Delhi High Court directing status quo till November 22. Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of the newspaper, approached the high court on November 12 challenging the October 30 order of the Urban Development Ministry, ending its 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the premises at the press enclave in ITO.
In its petition, the AJL alleged that the proceedings by the Urban Development ministry were being initiated for the purposes of "scuttling the voices of dissent" and the voice of the largest opposition party in the country, a reference to the Congress.
Without naming the BJP, the AJL further alleged that the order issued under pressure and directives from the ruling party at the Centre is vitiated by malafides, bias and had "oblique political motives".
"It is evident that there are extraneous factors in the decision-making process and the entire exercise of passing the impugned order is only a political witch hunt aimed at dismantling and destroying the voice of dissent and opposition parties," the petition contended.
When the matter came up for hearing in the high court, the central government gave an oral assurance it will maintain status quo till November 22.