NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Centre and the Telangana government on the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea seeking a "fair, equitable and expeditious division of assets and liabilities" involving institutions and corporations of the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh between the two successor states under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice M.M. Sundresh issued notice after senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan told the bench that the bifurcation took place by way of the 2014 Act, but assets worth crores of rupees had not come to Andhra Pradesh.
The notice is returnable in April, though no date has been specified.
In the last hearing on December 16, 2022, the court had asked AP to serve an advance copy of its petition on the Centre and Telangana. Noting that there are similar petitions pending before it, the court had asked the AP government to serve a copy of its petition on those petitioners.
In the December 16 hearing, senior advocate Viswanathan had described the situation as "alarming" as nothing has moved since 2014.
The AP government has sought the apportionment of assets specified in Schedule IX (relating to government companies and corporations) and X (continuance of facilities in certain State institutions).
It said that of the 233 institutions mentioned under Schedule IX and X and another 12 not mentioned in the Reorganisation Act, the assets and liability of "not a single institution have been apportioned between the successor states"
The total value of the fixed assets of 245 institutions is about Rs 1,42,601 crore, AP said.
The AP petition pointed out that most of the assets were located in Hyderabad "by extensively investing resources of the combined state."
The AP government said that the non-apportionment of the assets has led to a multitude of issues adversely affecting and violating the fundamental and other constitutional rights of the people of Andhra Pradesh including the employees of the said institutions.
"Without adequate funding and actual division of assets in terms of the apportionment made under the Act, the functioning of the said institutions in the state of Andhra Pradesh has been severely stunted" the suit said.
Seeking a division of these assets at the "earliest" so that a "quietus" could be put to the issue, the AP government said the long delay in the division of assets and liabilities had adversely impacted approximately 1,59,096 employees working in these institutions.
It said, "the position of the pensionable employees who have retired post bifurcation is pitiable and many of them have not received terminal benefits."
Of the eight prayers on which declaration/direction has been sought, AP urged the top court to declare that inaction of Telangana and the Central government in not dividing the assets and liabilities was being "arbitrary and violative of the Fundamental Rights of the people of Andhra Pradesh".
It has further sought directions to Telangana to furnish details of all properties — both immovable and movable, including funds — of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh of the institution mentioneds in Scheduled IX and X of the Act and even otherwise.