The State Government is required to file an affidavit to the High Court within 10 days to explain the reason for the decision to shift capital from Velagapudi in Amravathi to Visakhapatnam.
The petition filed by Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi seeking the intervention of the court in the Government’s decision to shift the capital city from Amaravati to three different locations was scrutinized by the Court. The bench comprising of Chief Justice J K Maheswari, Justice A.V. Sesha Sai and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy heard the petition that argued against the Government’s decision that was made under the garb of ‘decentralisation of administration/governance’.
The petition prayed that the shift of capital city should be declared arbitrary and urged the Central Government to abstain from causing financial loss by way of changing the existing infrastructure and halt ongoing projects. The petition also claimed that the projects were worth about ₹52,840 crores which would all be lost in case of a change in the capital city.
The Advocate General representing the State Government clarified to the bench that the shift in the capital city would not take place until the bill is approved in the legislature. Other bills about shifting the capital such as AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and the AP-Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bills were passed by the Assembly in January 2020 but were awaiting the response of the Select committee.
The Public Interest Litigation filed by secretary Gadde Tirupati Rao also cited MP V. Vijayasai Reddy’s statements and a string of media reports seeking to buttress his argument that the government was bent on shifting the capital.
The High Court made it clear that if the Government decides to go ahead with the capital shift despite the Advocate General’s assurance, the petitioners had the right to invoke urgency through the High Court Registry and have an early hearing of the case.
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