A day after the Delhi High Court directed Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publisher of National Herald newspaper to vacant its headquarters – the Herald House in the national capital within two weeks, the Congress on Friday said that it will appeal against the court's order, adding that they will get full justice in the Supreme Court. Speaking to news agency PTI, Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill said the court findings are not final and the party is within its right to appeal against it.
"The high court order has come. It is a legal case and the Congress and other parties involved in the case have a constitutional right to appeal, which we will exercise. We have a very strong case in AJL and there is nothing illegal or against the law in the case and we are confident of getting complete justice in the higher court," Shergill told reporters.
"The court's findings and observation is not final. The parties have all rights to appeal against the court findings. The final finding is of the Supreme court of India. We are confident that since we have a strong case and on the basis of facts and evidence, the final victory will be of the AJL," he added.
Dismissing the allegations of mala fide against the BJP government as "preposterous", the court said the publisher AJL was "hijacked" by Young Indian (YI) company in which party chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are majority shareholders.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has alleged that a private trust, among whose trustee are the Gandhi family members, has tried to appropriate the real estate owned by the newspaper.
In hard-hitting observations in its 17-page verdict, the court held that the AJL has not provided any instances to support the serious allegations of mala fide levelled against the ruling dispensation, a reference to the BJP government at the Centre.
It said the AJL will have to vacate its premises within two weeks failing which proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971, would be initiated for its eviction.
The court rejected the contentions of the AJL challenging the Centre's October 30 order ending its 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the Herald House.
The Centre and Land and Development Office (L&DO) have said in their order that no press has been functioning in the premises for at least past 10 years and it was being used only for commercial purposes in violation of the lease deed. AJL had denied the allegations in the petition filed in the high court.
(With inputs from agencies)