Amaravati: High Court starts hearing on three capitals issue
Because of this case the entire development in the State had come to a standstill, points out Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra
Nelapadu (Amaravati): The three-member Division Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and two other judges — Justice M Satyanaryana Murthy and Justice D V S S Somayajulu — finally took up the hearing on Monday on two separate issues — abolition of AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) and formation of three capitals for decentralised administration.
It may be recalled that a number of times the hearing was postponed in the past and now the High Court commenced the hearing of the petitions filed by the farmers of Amaravati and others against the decision of the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government to form three capitals for the State.
Advocate General S Sriram, however, requested Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra to drop the other two judges on the bench on the plea that they had given anti-government judgments in the past. However, the Chief Justice rejected their argument.
The division bench opined that there was a lot of significance to the hearing on the capital city issues. Chief Justice Prasanth Kumar Mishra observed that because of this case the entire development in the State had come to a standstill.
Stating that the delay was causing a lot of inconvenience to the petitioners and respondents, the division bench said it would complete the hearing at the earliest and deliver its judgment as soon as possible.
In August, another division bench, comprising the then Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Nainala Jayasurya took up the hearing of the cases pertaining to Amaravati and three capitals.
However, counsels for the petitioners (Amaravati farmers) requested the bench to defer the cases due to increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the State.
The State government's counsels, too, said it was for the court to decide how and when to conduct the hearings, after examining the pandemic conditions across the country.
Later, the then division bench postponed the hearing to November 15, after going through the status report of the Covid-19 cases in the country in general and Andhra Pradesh in particular.
It is hard to predict as to how long this hearing would go on. Even if the High Court gives its judgment after prolonged hearing, there is no guarantee that the petitioners or the government would not go to Supreme Court depending on the judgment of the High Court.
Under these circumstances, one wonders whether the issue of three capitals would be settled in near future. The issue has been dragging for more than a year.