Deccan Chronicle

High Court orders Andhra Pradesh to build Amaravati as capital

Deccan Chronicle.| KMP Patnaik

Published on: March 3, 2022 | Updated on: March 4, 2022

The court also added that the farmers in Amaravati should be handed back their developed plots within 3 months

The Andhra Pradesh High Court Complex at Amaravati. (Photo: PTI/File)

The Andhra Pradesh High Court Complex at Amaravati. (Photo: PTI/File)

Amaravati: In a setback to the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government, the AP High Court on Thursday said that the state government should follow the CRDA Act and ordered it to develop Amaravati as the capital, as per the master plan, within six months.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra in its final verdict on a batch of petitions filed challenging the acts on decentralisation and repeal of AP CRDA on Thursday, said that the state legislature had no competence to make any legislation on the state’s capital and directed the state government not to shift any office from the present capital city Amaravati.

The court also asked the state government to pay Rs 50,000 to the petitioners.

The court also directed the state government to inform it on a regular basis over the implementation of its order on developing the capital city Amaravati.

The proposed formation of three capitals by the state government was challenged by the farmers of Amaravati, the present capital region.

The farmers claimed that the government had entered into agreements with them for offering their land under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), promising to develop a new capital.

The YSRCP government decided to make three capitals in different cities in order to ensure development in all parts of the state. It proposed administrative capital in Visakhapatnam, judicial capital in Kurnool and the legislative capital in Amaravati but it failed to materialise due to filing of numerous petitions in the High Court.

The High Court constituted a full bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Nainala Jayasurya to hear more than 100 petitions filed by the farmers of Amaravati challenging the YSRCP government’s decision to form three capitals.

It may be recalled that all these petitions against the two Bills — AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) Repeal Bills 2020 — were first heard by a High Court bench headed by the Chief Justice J.K. Maheswari. The hearings ended abruptly with the transfer of Justice Maheswari to Sikkim.

Later, Justice Goswami, who took over from Justice Maheswari, announced in March that a new bench would conduct fresh hearings.

The new bench was supposed to hear the cases afresh from May 3, 2021 and the Advocate Heneral requested that the cases be heard at the earliest.

However, on May 2, 2021, the High Court deferred its decision to hear the cases afresh to August 23 on the ground that it was not in a position to take up regular hearing of any cases in the wake of growing number of Coronavirus cases.

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