New Delhi: Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) on Monday launched the beta version of the website of its long-defunct English-language newspaper National Herald on the birth anniversary of the newspaper’s founder and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
According to a statement released by AJL, with this launch, the defunct newspaper will resume publication as a multimedia platform. “The digital website will follow the same editorial vision and principles as that of our founder, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru," the statement said. AJL is owned by the Indian National Congress.
The Congress and AJL in September announced the revival of National Herald after eight years. The party also said that it will resume the publication of Hindi-language newspaper Navjivan, followed by Quami Awaz, AJL’s Urdu daily. The newspapers ceased publication in 2008.
AJL has appointed journalist Neelabh Mishra as the editor-in-chief. “It (National Herald) remains committed to furthering the values it has always cherished and the best values of the freedom movement—that of building a modern, democratic, just, equitable, liberal and socially harmonious nation, free of sectarian strife," AJL said in a statement.
The move comes after the Supreme Court upheld the 7 December 2015 verdict of the Delhi high court directing Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to undergo trial over alleged misappropriation of funds.
The case arose on the legality of a loan assigned by Congress-owned AJL to Young Indian Pvt. Ltd, a charitable company. In a complaint, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy alleged that the party loaned ₹ 90 crore to AJL and on 28 December 2010, it assigned this debt to Young Indian for ₹ 50 lakh.
This, according to Swamy, amounted to breach of trust, cheating, fraud and misappropriation of funds. The Gandhis challenged these allegations in the Delhi high court. On 7 December 2015, the high court dismissed their petition, paving the way for the trial.