Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court, on 14 August, extended the status quo on the three-capitals issue till 27 August. The state government had appealed to the High Court to withdraw the interim status quo order but the court has rejected the plea.
A three-judge Bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, Justice A.V Seshasai, and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy heard more than 55 petitions which challenged the Andhra Pradesh government's gazette notification on the Decentralisation Act and the cancellation of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act.
Counsel for the petitioner told the High Court that establishing three state capitals goes against the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 and that there was a provision for only one capital. Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi argued on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh government and said that establishing a capital was the discretion of the state. He requested the High Court to withdraw the status quo as it was creating problems in shifting the administrative capital.
After getting the Governor's clearance on the Decentralisation Bill, the state was preparing to relocate its administrative offices, including the Chief Minister's Office, to Vizag city and the judicial offices to Kurnool.
Hearing a batch of petitions challenging the state's decision to form three state capitals, the High Court turned the appeal of the Andhra Pradesh government to vacate the status quo order.
The state government has filed affidavits in various petitions and justified its decision by arguing that it is for the equal development of all regions.
Meanwhile, following technical glitches in the online proceedings, some advocates requested the High Court to hold a proper hearing of the case. But the court made it clear that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical hearings are impossible.
The High Court posted the matter for further hearing on 27 August, extending the earlier order of maintaining the status quo regarding shifting of executive capital to Vizag city from the Amaravati region of Guntur.
Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy's government is planning to lay the foundation stone for buildings for the executive capital in Vizag city in October.