Andhra Pradesh

Three capitals petition ought to have been heard in first instance: CJ

Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Prashant Kumar Mishra observed on Friday that a petition filed by MLC P. Ashok Babu against the A.P. Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and the CRDA Repeal Acts ought to have been heard in the first instance given their consequences for the State.

Had it been taken up at that early stage, the burden on the court would have reduced, Mr. Justice Mishra said during the hearing on the impugned legislations.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Jandhyala Ravi Shankar argued that the passage of the Bills in the Assembly after the same were referred to a select committee by the Legislative Council Chairman for the sake of eliciting public opinion within six months smacked of a “fraud on the Constitution and democracy.”

He insisted that the Bills should have been signed by both the Assembly Speaker and the Council Chairman, and that wherever the word ‘Speaker’ was mentioned, it should be read as Chairman (of the Council) also.

He further said that if the Bills were not considered at every stage, a parliamentary debate would have no meaning, and that the Council had its due weightage as per a judgment of the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ravi Shankar said reintroduction of the Bills in the Assembly before the select committee concluded its proceedings was itself violative of the Constitution.

He also said that the Advocate-General had made a statement in the High Court that the Bills were sent to the select committee, whereas no attempt had apparently been made either by the Legislature Secretary or the State government to let the said committee fulfil its mandate of obtaining feedback.

Even before these procedures were complied with, the Bills were sent for assent of the Governor, whose office remained silent on a letter purportedly written by the Council Chairman on the alleged inaction of the Legislature Secretary with regard to the forming of a select committee, the terms of reference and its functioning.

On his part, the Assembly Speaker should have communicated to the Council Chairman the fact that the Bills were sent to the Governor for his approval, but he failed in his duty, Mr. Ravi Shankar argued.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 10:57:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/three-capitals-petition-ought-to-have-been-heard-in-first-instance-cj/article37590173.ece

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