The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Andhra Pradesh government and asked for a timeline, to ensure that the establishment of a separate High Court for the state would be done at the earliest. A two-member bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan were hearing a plea by the Centre, which had challenged an earlier order of the Hyderabad High Court.
The Hyderabad HC had said that the permanent HC for Andhra must be constructed within the state only, which the Centre challenged, stating that Hyderabad was the common capital of both states for 10 years under the AP Reorginsation Act, 2014 and had enough infrastructure to accommodate a temporary HC for Andhra.
Meanwhile, in its response, the AP government informed the Supreme Court that the accommodation for a separate HC would be ready in December 2018.
Last year, after protests rocked the Lok Sabha, then Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad spoke in the Lok Sabha on the matter of bifurcating the Hyderabad High Court and said that Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had offered four buildings in Amaravati to temporarily host the state's High Court.
The bifurcation would take place according to the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the Union Minister said.
Chandrababu Naidu has asked for suggestions by the end of January, so that modifications to the buildings can be made by April, and the court itself can begin functioning by June this year. However, the state now hopes to have a functioning HC by the end of this year.
There has been a growing sentiment that the HC should be set up in the stateâ€™s Rayalaseema region.
Stating that the Andhra government was concentrating development in the Amaravati capital region, many are appealing to Naidu to not repeat his â€˜mistakeâ€™ of developing a single region between Vijayawada and Guntur while ignoring the rest of the state.