Vijayawada: In a major relief to Andhra Pradesh government, the High Court here has allowed the state to manage its finances at will, citing Supreme Court judgments that had said the issues of financial management should be left to the states and not to the courts.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prashant Mishra and Justice Satyanarayana Murthy heard a petition filed by YSR Congress rebel MP Raghu Ramakrishnaraju here on Friday. He made a plea to revoke the amendments carried out to the AP Excise Act by the Jagan government to show the income being generated by the AP State Beverages Corporation as government’s income. This was aimed at enabling the government raise loans from the banks and financial institutions for implementation of several welfare schemes, he submitted before the court.
Petitioner’s counsel Ambati Sudhakar argued that the state government was trying to raise loans by showing the APSBCL’s annual income of nearly
Rs 6,000 crore as a guarantee for repayment, even as it already mortgaged 80 per cent of its income.
He submitted that the state government was also raising loans by showing the expected income in future, even as the norms say that no state should borrow beyond 25 per cent of the remittances that were made to the Consolidated Fund of the state.
He called for intervention of the court as the state government was "flouting constitutional provisions" to borrow money for its welfare schemes.
The Chief Justice said, "As we don’t accept the interference of relatives and friends in our family finances, the courts also do not interfere in the management of finances by the state government."
The court observed that if the state’s finances were not being managed properly, the CAG and the accountant general would take care of it.
When the court asked about the interests of the petitioner to raise such issues, his counsel said the petitioner is an MP. The court said, in that case, it would be appropriate to raise such issues in Parliament.
The petitioner’s counsel urged the court to issue a notice to the state government and direct it to file a counter-affidavit.
The court said no notice need be served. When counsel asked for issue of an interim order, the court refused to do so and said the petitioner was yet to make out a case for admission and to take up arguments, and posted the next hearing to June 15 after summer vacation.