Andhra High Court adjourns hearing on capital decentralisation bills to Aug 6

The court said that it would hear multiple petitions together due to the “ever changing” situation regarding the capital bills.
Andhra Pradesh High Court building in Amaravati
Andhra Pradesh High Court building in Amaravati
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The Andhra Pradesh High Court has adjourned the hearing of a petition against the reintroduction of the bills related to capital decentralisation in the state to August 6. According to reports, while the petitioner TDP MLC Deepak Reddy’s advocate expressed concern that the Governor might approve the bills allowing the shifting of the capital by then, the court assured that such a scenario will be taken into consideration. 

The court has deferred a petition against the reintroduction of the AP Decentralisation And Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020,and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Bill, 2020, in the Assembly. The HC bench reportedly said that multiple petitions - filed by TDP leaders and farmer organisations -related to the capital issue will be heard together, as the situation is “ever changing”. The court has asked the state government to file a counter before August 6. 

The upcoming petitions include one that objects to the failure on the Legislature Secretary’s part to promptly refer the bills to a Select Committee, as decided previously in the Legislative Council.  

The two bills, which would essentially allow the primary capital of the state to be shifted away from Amaravati to Vizag, were in June passed by the Legislative Assembly for a second time. The bills also remained stalled in the Legislative Council, where the opposition TDP holds a majority. The Council had previously referred the bills to a Select Committee, but things never progressed on that front. 

The bills have now been referred to the Governor, since a month has elapsed after the Bills were stalled in the Council for the second time. The bills were sent to the Governor for his assent under Article 197 (1) and (2) of the Constitution, which deals with “restriction on powers of Legislative Council as to Bills other than Money Bills.”

Reports have suggested that the Governor would send the bills to the Law Department for legal examination, depending on which they might be referred to the President of India. 

Watch: No land, no livelihood: The fate of Amaravati's tenant farmers

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