SC Moots Expeditious Disposal Of 3 Capitals Case, Asks For Daily Hearing

 - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: In a significant development in the ‘three capitals’ issue of Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday hoped that the state High Court would expeditiously dispose of the case pertaining to the Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions and CRDA Acts. Taking up the petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh government challenging the status quo given by the state high court on the two acts, the apex court directed the high court to conduct daily hearing of the state government’s petition and deal with it in an expeditious manner.

The Supreme Court however made it clear that it cannot intervene in the matter since the high court is scheduled to hear the case on Thursday, August 27th, when the status quo ends. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy and MR Shah gave this ruling on the state government’s special leave petition (SLP).

The Andhra Pradesh High Court granted status quo on these legislations for a period of 10 days on August 4 before extending it till August 27. This prompted the state government to approach the Supreme Court with an SLP seeking vacation of the status quo granted by the high court.

But the matter was adjourned twice under dramatic circumstances after Chief Justice Bobde and Justice Rohinton Nariman recused themselves from hearing the petition citing the appearance of their family members as counsels for some petitioners in the same case in the high court. Justice Bobde’s daughter Rukhmini Bobde and Justice Rohinton’s father Fali S Nariman have been roped in by some of the petitioners to argue their case in the state high court.

Rakesh Dwivedi, the counsel for the Andhra Pradesh government, while presenting the state government’s arguments, sought to remind the apex court that the judiciary interfering in the administrative jurisdiction in this manner was unheard of in the country before.

He put before the apex court bench the state government’s contention that the high court has not given any proper justification for granting the status quo on these acts, thereby effectively halting the implementation of the acts. Dwivedi further argued that the high court has grossly overlooked the principle that the constitutionality of a statute is presumed to be upheld until proven otherwise.

The Andhra Pradesh government has brought about these two acts to develop Amaravati, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam as legislative, judicial and executive capitals respectively. The state government has taken this decision due to the state’s critical fiscal condition and the limited resources which will make it difficult to build and develop the capital in Amaravati right from scratch at a staggering cost. The state government has also proposed the three capitals plan to ensure balanced development of all the three key regions of the state – the coastal districts, north Andhra and Rayalaseema.

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