Amaravati: In another twist in Andhra Pradesh's three-capital issue, the Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice on a plea of the state government challenging the judgment of the High Court declaring Amaravati as the only capital of the state. The SC stayed the time-bound directions of the High Court directing the state government to develop Amaravati as the capital city within six months.
On 28 November, the Supreme Court heard the Amaravati case. Former Attorney General K.K Venugopal argued on behalf of the AP government. The hearing was held before a Bench of Justices K.M Joseph and B.V Nagaratna. The Bench questioned, "What kind of directions have the High Court passed? Courts cannot become a town planner, asking to do the planning in two months."
The court said it would examine the legal questions involved in the next hearing, adjourned to 31 January 2023.
It may be recalled that the High Court, on 3 March, had directed the state government to develop the Amaravati capital city and region within six months. The High Court had also ordered the government and the authorities concerned to complete infrastructure development like roads, drainage, electricity, and drinking water supply in Amaravati within a month.
The state government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court in September, seeking a stay on the High Court's verdict declaring Amaravati as the only capital city. The state government said it was committed to decentralizing governance by forming three capitals—the executive capital in Visakhapatnam, the legislative capital in Amaravati, and the judicial capital in Kurnool.
However, the proposed formation of three capitals was challenged by the farmers of Amaravati who claimed that the government had entered into agreements with them to offer their land under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), promising to develop a new capital.