New Delhi, January 8: The Supreme Court today scheduled the next hearing in National Herald case on January 29. The top court also asked United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to file an affidavit in connection with the case. Congress leader Oscar Fernandes is also named in the case. The court in its interim order said that if I-T Dept passes assessment order, it can't be given effect to till final disposal of the case.
Meanwhile, the income tax department said in the apex court that order of re-opening of tax assessment for the year 2011-12 of the Congress President, the UPA chairperson and Fernandes was passed against them but the order has not been given effect to as per SC’s order.
Earlier on December 21 last year, the Delhi High Court while hearing Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), owner of National Herald newspaper's plea ordered the party to vacate Herald House within two weeks. AJL in its petition challenged Centre's decision which had cancelled its lease and ordered it to vacate Herald House on grounds of violation of lease clauses.
In its petition, AJL called Centre’s order as “politically motivated”. It further stated that the impugned order is vitiated by malafides, bias and has been issued with oblique political motives. The publisher had approached the high court on November 12 against the October 30 order of the Urban Development Ministry, asking it to vacate the building by November 15 stating that Herald House's 56-year-old lease to AJL had ended.