The Supreme Court has today stayed the High Court’s order to Associated Journals Limited(AJL) of vacating the Herald House in Delhi. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has also issued a notice to the center’s Land and Development Office on a petition of AJL against the High Court order.
Earlier, the division bench of the High Court had maintained the eviction order passed under the Public Premises Act by Centre and the Land and Development Office(LDO) against AJL, asserting that no press has been functioning on the property for at least the past 10 years and that it was being used only for commercial purposes violating the lease deed.
The order was passed by the court after the shares of AJL were transferred to the Young India company, in which Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are shareholders.
The bench had observed that the transfer of AJL shares to Young India company was nothing but clandestine and surreptitious transaction to transfer the profitable interest to Young India Ltd. It was noticed that 99% of AJL shares transferred to Young India amounted to the beneficial interest of AJL’s property worth Rs 413.40 crore stands “surreptitiously” transferred to YI.
It is notable here that in the National Herald scam case, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sam Pitroda, Motilal Vohra and Oscar Fernandez are accused of involvement in a massive ‘cheating and breach of trust’ in the acquisition of AJL by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL).
Before this, in December last year, the Delhi High Court’s single bench had dismissed the plea filed by the AJL, challenging the Centre’s decision to cancel its lease and vacate the Herald House. In the eviction order passed in October last year, the Centre had stated that the Herald House’s 56-year-old lease to the AJL had expired.