Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh Government can’t change capital: High Court

Andhra Pradesh High Court at Nelapadu, Amaravati. File

Andhra Pradesh High Court at Nelapadu, Amaravati. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed the State government to construct and develop Amaravati, the capital city of the State, and the capital region within six months.

In a significant observation, the High Court held that the State legislature lacked the competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital.

A three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra and consisting of Justices M. Satyanarayana Murthy and D.V.S.S. Somayajulu, gave the final verdict after hearings in a case relating to a bunch of writ petitions filed by landowners of Amaravati to declare that the State government had no legislative competence to change the capital or remove Amaravati from being the capital of the three civic wings — legislature, executive and judiciary — of the State.

Counsel for the petitioners contended that the State has failed to deliver on its promise to return the developed plots as per the final master plan within a period of three years even after the deadline expired on January 20.

The High Court directed the government and the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) to discharge their duties enshrined under the A.P. Capital Regional Development Authority (CRDA) Act and Land Pooling Rules. It directed the State to develop the reconstitutional plots belonging to landowners and hand them over to landowners within three months.

The HC held the view that the agreement signed between the farmers and the CRDA in Form-9.14 is a Development Agreement-cum-Irrevocable General Power of Attorney and it is a statutory contract, and the violation of terms and conditions by the respondents — State and APCRDA — warrants interference of this court, while exercising power under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The State was also directed to pay costs of ₹50,000 to each of the petitioners for having forced the filing of the case to perform their statutory obligations.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2022 1:09:50 am |