New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed the petition filed by Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the publisher of National Herald, challenging the eviction order of October 30 by Land and Development Authority. The court has granted two weeks’ time to vacate Herald House, said ANI.

The building is in the busy ITO area.  In its eviction order, the Centre had mentioned a violation of lease conditions by the publisher of the newspaper.

n 2008, AJL had shut down over its debts. The BJP alleged that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi used Congress party funds to pay off its debts.

Last month, the court had asked Centre how re-entering the premises was justified since the publication of National Herald had commenced. Justice Sunil Gaur, who reserved his verdict in the matter, asked the Urban Development Ministry, “They are now running the newspaper. So where is the justification now to re-enter premises? Where is the occasion now to re-enter the premises?”

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ministry and the Land and Development Office, had told the court that re-entry notice was issued as it had initiated the proceedings back in 2016 when no printing or publishing activity was going on. All the procedures had been followed to the hilt before issuing the notice for re-entry to AJL, Mehta had said.

Meanwhile, the CBI also filed a chargesheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Motilal Vora, in connection with alleged illegal allotment of plot to AJL.