While reports have been circulating for over two years about problems — both financial and legal — in Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) and its subsidiaries, things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, four days after the Bombay High Court had ordered that the office of The Asian Age, a noted newspaper and a subsidiary of DCHL, be sealed with immediate effect.
No place to work: Around 100 employees of Asian Age were left without a space to work after court officers sealed the Mathurdas Compound office. Pics/Bipin Kokate
DCHL has been mired in legal battles for long now, with banks moving court for non-payment of dues. One of the cases, by Tata Capital, had been filed at Bombay High Court, the verdict for which was delivered last Friday.
The newspaper’s editorial department, however, soldiered on and punctually released their edition for Wednesday.
Sources at Asian Age say the management will soon be knocking on the court’s door for a stay on the order, and make attempts to shift back to the office at Mathuradas Mill compound.
The court’s order deprived about a 100 employees of Asian Age of a workspace. Employees working for the marketing and circulation departments in the Lower Parel office are yet to be assigned a new workspace. The 35 members of the editorial team have been shifted to a Kala Ghoda office, where they will be sharing space with Financial Chronicle, a subsidiary of Deccan Chronicle. However, they have now to deal with a grinding space crunch, with only eight workstations to share between them, as they handle production of the paper’s Mumbai edition every day.
An employee said, “We knew there were some issues, but it never affected us in terms of salary or increments. We had our salaries coming in every month and so we didn’t ask. The news came to us when we walked in to the office on Tuesday. There were some court receivers who had come to seal the office. We worked for Wednesday’s edition, while the court officers courteously waited outside. Once the edition was sent to the press, we left.”
Members of the management of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited were unavailable for comment.