Amaravati is Andhra’s capital, govt has no right to enact law for 3 capitals: HC

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A Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra-led three-member bench warned the state government against shifting offices from Amaravati

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Thursday ordered Amaravati’s development as the state capital and ruled the government has no right to enact fresh legislation for three capitals.

“Amaravati should be developed as the capital city of the state. Within three months, the plots allotted to the stakeholders should be developed and infrastructure facilities should be created for the plots within three months,” the court said. “The state assembly has no powers to make any further laws on the capital city. No office should be shifted from Amaravati to any other place.”

The court said the city should be developed as per Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (APCRDA)’s master plan and asked the government to submit reports on the development undertaken. It directed the government against deviating from the master plan and to pay 50,000 each to the 100-odd petitioners to cover litigation expenses.

A Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra-led three-member bench’s order came on a batch of petitions Amaravati Farmers’ Joint Action Committee and other individuals filed against the law enacted for three state capitals. In November 2021, the government repealed the legislation saying it will bring in a fresh fool-proof law to ensure no legal hurdles. But the court continued to hear the petitions.

Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in December 2019 announced the government’s plan for the executive, judicial, and legislative capitals in Visakhapatnam, Kurnool, and Amaravati. The legislation for the purpose was enacted in June 2020. The previous Telugu Desam Party government created APCRDA for developing Amaravati as the capital.

The court asked the government to hand over the developed plots to the farmers, who gave away their lands for the capital city. It added except for the development of the capital city, the government should not mortgage the lands for any other purpose.

Ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party leader and minister Vellampalli Srinivas Rao said the government will go through the copy of the judgement before commenting. “We shall do what is good for the people of the state and we do not intend to do injustice to any section of the people.”

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