The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday asked the Telangana government not to demolish the existing Secretariat building till further orders.
The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh gave the interim direction on a petition against Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao's Rs 100-crore plan to build a new Vastu-compliant Secretariat by demolishing the existing structure.
The court asked the government not to take any action till the petition is disposed off.
The court also directed the Telangana government to file a response within 10 days as to why it wants to demolish the building.
Congress leader T.A. Jeevan Reddy filed the petition, saying that demolition of the existing structure and building a new one will be a waste of public money.
Advocate General Ramakrishna Reddy contended in the court that the government's decision is for administrative convenience.
The court, however, asked the government to file a counter plea with all details.
The Chief Minister is said to be a strong believer in Vastu, an ancient system of architecture.
He has argued that the present Secretariat building has "bad Vastu". He plans to demolish different buildings of the Secretariat, some 130-year-old, to build an integrated multi-storey building.
The opposition parties are critical of the plan, saying it will be a waste of public money.
Critics also say the Chief Minister is focusing excessively on religious beliefs than on real issues.
Congress leader Madhu Yaskhi Goud said that Rao wants to build new Secretariat as he believes this will help his son K.T. Rama Rao become the next Chief Minister.
Speakers at an all-party meeting at the Communist Party of India (CPI) office on Tuesday urged the Chief Minister to drop plans to build the new Secretariat and instead focus on public issues.