Andhra Pradesh

Ministers, MLAs liable to action on Andhra Pradesh Capital issue: former SC Judge

V. Gopala Gowda (3rd from left) and other guests at a discussion on the High Court verdict on Amaravati capital city organised by Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti in Vijayawada on Saturday.

V. Gopala Gowda (3rd from left) and other guests at a discussion on the High Court verdict on Amaravati capital city organised by Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti in Vijayawada on Saturday. | Photo Credit: G.N. RAO

Former judge of the Supreme Court V. Gopala Gowda has said that the State government has no right to continue even for a single day if it was against implementing the High Court order which was to develop Amaravati as the single capital city of Andhra Pradesh, and asserted that ‘the judgment (given by HC) is the law till it is set aside by the apex court’ as per Article 13 of the Constitution.

The paucity of funds cannot be an excuse for not following the High Court directions, he asserted, while expressing regret that the government has made clear its intention to go ahead with its three capitals proposal even after the court ruled that the State has no legislative competence to change the capital or bifurcate or even trifurcate it.

Addressing a meeting organised by Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti (APS) on the High Court judgment on Amaravati here on Saturday, on the occasion of completion of 900 days of the farmers’ struggle against ‘three capitals’, Mr. Gowda said it was unfortunate that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government did not resume the development of Amaravati even after 90 days of the judgment, and it came up with unjustifiable excuses to escape from its Constitutional responsibility to implement the decision taken by its predecessor.

He observed that policies could not be changed whenever a new party came to power, and exhorted the farmers to continue their agitation in order to keep up pressure on the government to make it fulfill its obligations.

Drawing parallels with the judgment given by the Supreme Court in Ratlam Municipality case, Mr. Gowda said not only the Chief Secretary but also the Ministers and MLAs should be made a party to the three capital cases, as they were jointly and severally liable to action.

Noted civil rights activist G. Haragopal said the YSRCP government should do a rethink on the three capitals concept having suffered a setback in the High Court and that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should not look at it as a personal issue.

By disregarding the High Court verdict, the government had set a bad precedent, but it could still make a course correction, lest the consequences should fall upon many generations to come.

If the court judgments were not followed, people would eventually lose confidence in the democratic institutions whose credibility and legitimacy was at stake.

“The TDP government might have committed a mistake, but what its successor is doing is a bigger mistake”, Prof . Haragopal observed, while cautioning that if the YSRCP government did not mend its ways with regard to the capital city, it would go down in history as one that brought development of the State to a halt.

Telangana Jana Samiti president M. Kodandaram said the government would have to pay a heavy price for depriving the beneficiaries of the unique Land Pooling Scheme of their right to life and livelihood and their ‘right to be involved in the development of Amaravati’, which was chosen as the capital city on the basis of extensive research and consultations. The implications of dividing the capital city into three parts would be far-reaching, he warned.

Retired IAS officer T. Gopala Rao, senior advocate Unnam Muralidhar Rao, Kamalananda Bharati of Bhuvaneswari Peetham and APS president A. Siva Reddy and secretary Gadde Tirupati Rao spoke.

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Printable version | Sep 3, 2022 4:46:13 am |