The Andhra Pradesh government’s plan to set up three capitals has run into multiple legal quagmires. The state government is planning to set up administrative capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool.
Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday extended the status quo order on shifting of capital till 21 September. The court has asked the government to file a counteraffidavit by 11 September.
The status quo now prevents the government from moving ahead on the capital issue. The status quo applies to the proposed abolition of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) also. The petitioners may submit their objections by 17 September, the court said. The HC said it would take up regular hearings on this issue from 21 September by following Covid-19 SOPs.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday also refused to entertain the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea challenging the state high court’s decision ordering status quo on two new laws enabling the formation of three capital cities.
The high court also questioned as to why the government had laid the foundation stone for the construction of a government guest house in over 30 acres in Visakhapatnam at a time when the status quo on the shifting of capital was in force.
Supreme Court advocate Nitish Gupta informed the court that the state government had resorted to contempt of court by acquiring 30 acres of land at Kapuluppada area in Visakhapatnam on 14th August, almost 10 days after the HC ordered status quo on the matters concerning the capital.
The HC has also asked the state’s chief secretary to file a counter-affidavit on the issue by 10 September. Around 70 petitions are filed by the Amaravati farmers and NGOs.
On the other hand, the farmers in the capital region continued their agitation against the trifurcation of the capital.