The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the March 3 order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court directing to construct and develop Amaravati capital city and region within six months.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna also issued notice to the Centre and others on the plea filed by the Andhra Pradesh government challenging the High Court order which had declared Amaravati as the only capital of the State. The apex court while posting the matter for hearing on January 31, 2023, said, “We are inclined to examine this issue. Issue notice. Till next date of hearing, there will be a stay of direction…”
Hearing the case, the bench observed that “Courts cannot become a town planner and Chief Engineer”.
The top court while referring to the March 3 order asked, “Is there no separation of power in the state of Andhra Pradesh? How can High Court begin acting as an executive.”
The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government had decided to make three capitals in different cities of the State in order to ensure development in all parts of the state.
Challenging the March 3 order of the High Court, the Andhra Pradesh government approached the top court saying the issue had become infructuous since the impugned legislation had been repealed.
The appeal stated that under the federal structure of the Constitution, every State has an inherent right to determine where it should carry out its capital functions from.
“To hold that State does not have the power to decide on its capital is violative of the basic structure of the Constitution,” the appeal has added.
The judgement of the High Court is violative of the doctrine of ‘separation of powers’ since it preempts the legislature from taking up the issue, it added.
The High Court in its order on March 3 order had directed that the State government should construct and develop Amaravati capital city and region within six months.
The High Court had ruled that the State legislature “lacked competence” to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital.
It had held that the State government and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority violated the fundamental rights of the petitioners (farmers who parted with their land) and directed that the State construct and develop Amaravati capital city and capital region within six months.
The High Court verdict had come on a batch of 63 petitions filed by aggrieved farmers of the Amaravati region against the Jagan regime’s decision to make Visakhapatnam the Executive Capital, Kurnool the Judiciary Capital and confining Amaravati as the Legislative Capital of Andhra Pradesh.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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