Amaravati, Sep 21 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday extended the status quo till October 5 on the state government’s project to build three different state capitals.
Starting October 5, the court will hear the case on a daily basis.
The previous order extending the status quo ended on Monday.
The court had first ordered the status quo on August 4, extending it by two more weeks on the next hearing on August 14.
Farmers, people’s representatives and various groups have filed over 70 petitions to challenge the vires of Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Repeal Act, 2020.
They argued that the three-capitals move was in violation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 as it talks of only one state capital.
The Supreme Court has already refused to grant stay on the High Court order for the status quo. A Supreme Court division bench had set aside a Special Leave Petition filed by the state to challenge the High Court order.
The Supreme Court had also rejected the state’s plea to direct the High Court to expedite hearing in the case, saying it cannot fix a deadline for the High Court.
The HC ordered the status quo as the petitioners feared that the Andhra government might start shifting offices to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool by taking advantage of the Bills passed for the same.
Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan on July 31 approved the two Bills and the government issued the gazette notification the same day.
Under the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020, the government seeks to shift judicial and executive functions out of Amaravati.
It proposes to develop Visakhapatnam as the executive capital. By shifting offices of the Chief Minister, Governor, Ministers and Secretaries, the coastal city for all practical purposes will become the seat of power.
Kurnool will be developed as the judicial capital by shifting the High Court there.
In the erstwhile TDP government, Amaravati was planned as the lone state capital, which will now only be a legislative capital.
The move by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government has led to protests by farmers in 29 villages of Amaravati region. Around 24,000 farmer families had given 33,000 acres of land for development of Amaravati under the land pooling scheme five years ago.
Then Telugu Desam Party government headed by Chandrababu Naidu had embarked on its mega plans to build Amaravati on the banks of Krishna river as the sole capital and as a world-class city. Naidu had got its design prepared by the Singapore government.
However, the present government now alleges a massive real estate scandal of more than 4,000 acres occurred in the Amaravati region, emanating from insider trading.