The court was hearing a petition which argued that it was up to the Centre to take the decision on shifting of the High Court and not the state government.

Andhra capital row HC asks state and Centre to file counters to hear plea in MarchWikimedia Commons - IM3847
news Court Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 10:32

The Andhra Pradesh High Court in Amaravati on Thursday asked the Centre and the state governments to file counters over the plan to decentralise the state's capital. 

A division bench headed by Chief Justice JK Maheshwari was hearing a plea which challenged the YSRCP government's move to relocate the High Court to Kurnool, besides setting up an executive capital in Visakhapatnam and retaining Amaravati as the legislative capital. 

The petitioners had argued that it was up to the Centre to take the decision on shifting of the High Court and not the state government. Following this, the court asked the two parties to file counters and posted the case to March 15. 

Meanwhile, the court said that it would hear another set of petitions, which challenged two bills -- Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act (Repeal) Bill -- which were passed in the Legislative Assembly last month, separately.

The hearing for these petitions was posted to March 30. 

During a hearing on the issue earlier this month, the HC pulled up the state government and ordered it to maintain the status quo, after the latter issued a directive to relocate some of its offices in Amaravati to Kurnool city ‘on administrative grounds’.

The state government had issued orders to shift the office of the Vigilance Commissioner and Chairman of Commissionerate of Inquiries, along with the offices of the Member(s) of Commissioner of Inquiries.

However, the order did not mention a specific date or deadline to shift the offices. The move was immediately challenged in court by the 'Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti'.

While the Centre had earlier said that the Andhra Pradesh government was free to decide its own capital, the relocation of the High Court will need a nod from the Union Law Ministry. 

Read: Andhra Pradesh free to decide its own capital, says Union govt



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