Thu, 08 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], March 28 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday posted for hearing on July 11 the plea of Andhra Pradesh government challenging the High Court order which directed it to construct and develop Amaravati capital city and region.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna posted the matter for July 11 noting there are many senior advocates to argue in the case and they would require time to advance their arguments.

The court will be left with no time to write the judgment as Supreme Court will have its summer vacation from May 21 to July 2 and Justice Joseph would be retiring on June 16, 2023, the bench observed.

The retirement of Justice Joseph would require the setting up of a new bench to hear the matter.

Former Attorney General and senior advocate KK Venugopal appearing for one of the parties in the case told the bench that the law that was enacted for the creation of three capitals has been withdrawn and all that remains to be argued is the impact of the High Court judgment on the principle of separation of powers and the functioning of the State government.

The apex court had stayed the March 3, 2022 order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court directing to construct and develop Amaravati capital city and region within six months.

It had also issued notice to the Centre and others on the plea filed by the Andhra Pradesh government and others challenging the High Court order which had declared Amaravati as the only capital of the State.

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government approached the top court saying the issue had become infructuous since the impugned legislation had been repealed.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 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 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. (ANI)

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