A recent judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court ordering the State government to complete the construction of the state capital Amaravati in six months was delayed by the Supreme Court panel consisting of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna. The Supreme Court declared on November 28, 2022, that the High Court could not act as a “town planner” and noted that the stated schedule was unreasonable. Hence the apex court stayed Andhra Pradesh HC Direction To Develop Amaravati Capital City.
Justice Nagarathna further wondered what sort of directives the High Court had issued. He asked whether the High Court could act as a chief engineer and town planner. Since the Court lacks knowledge in these areas, according to the Justice, HC has no right to get involved. The High Court wants to build an entire city in two months without any competence, which is absurd. Finally, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s administration exhaled a sigh of relief.
Court Further Directions
The Supreme Court set a hearing date for January 31 for the petitions submitted by the state government, farmers, associations, and their committees after stating they needed to investigate the situation thoroughly. Until no further action is taken, they will continue to look into the matter until the next hearing.
Justice BV Nagarathna frowned at the High Court’s time-sensitive directives and said, “It is up to the State to determine where the capital should be. Since HC has gone beyond its bounds, it cannot hold an executive position.
What Was The Case?
You should know that the Court Or bench was listening to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s administrative appeal. The Court declared it would review the relevant legal issues on January 31. The Court strictly asked whether there is no division of power in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
In March, the State was told to build, develop and expand Amaravati’s capital city within six months. The bench questioned HC regarding the same and asked how can the high Court start behaving as an executive.
The High Court further directed the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority and the government to finish building the necessary infrastructure in the capital city of Amaravati, including roads, drinking water, drainage, and power, within one month.
How State Government Opposed The Decision
The State government had opposed the High Court’s decision that had halted its ambitious three-capital plan for the State the Supreme Court in September. The State claimed thus in its appeal, submitted through attorney Mahfooz A Nazki, “To argue that the state does not have the option to determine its capital is a violation of the essential framework of the Constitution.”
The state administration’s establishment of three capitals—administrative capital in Visakhapatnam, legislative capital in Amaravati, and judicial capital in Kurnool—demonstrated its dedication to decentralizing power. It emphasized that it had the authority to restructure its capital.
KK Venugopal, the attorney for the AP government, argued before the Supreme Court that even though the Act on Three Capitals had been abolished, the High Court had ruled on the legislative competence of Three Capitals. Counsel claimed this amounted to nothing more than an infringement on legislative authority. According to the attorney, the concept of a capital city is not stated in the Indian Constitution. A capital city would be the location of one of the three branches of the government’s office.
According to him, the President would decide where the judiciary’s seat should be following the Constitution, considering the interests of the bench. The government would make this determination in the case of the executive. So, there’s no space for the High Court to decide on the same!
How the Apex Court has already announced to stop Andhra Pradesh HC Direction To Develop Amaravati Capital City. The Supreme Court will now take care of the matter!