Shot in the arm for Jagan; SC stays AP HC's directions on Amaravati capital
In a big shot in the arm for YS Jaganmohan Reddy's three-capitals' pitch, the Supreme Court on Monday granted stay on the Andhra Pradesh High Court
NEW DELHI: In a big shot in the arm for YS Jaganmohan Reddy's three-capitals' pitch, the Supreme Court on Monday granted stay on the Andhra Pradesh High Court's direction to build the state capital in Amaravati within six months. In a significant development, the apex court stayed five of seven directions given earlier by the Andhra Pradesh High Court while also finding fault with the lower court's approach in this regard.
The Supreme Court, which adjourned the petitions pertaining to the capital issue to January 31 for further hearing, made key observations in the form of a scathing attack against the Andhra Pradesh High Court for its approach in deciding the matter.
Responding to the High Court's direction to the Andhra Pradesh Government that the capital be built in Amaravati and that too within six months, the apex court wondered if the High Court had assumed the role of a town planner. The Supreme Court observed in no uncertain terms that the High Court exceeded its brief and jurisdiction while dealing with the petitions pertaining to the capital dispute.
"How can the High Court, which has no expertise in the matter, issue such directions? You want the State Government to draw a picture and build the capital in months? Courts can never act like elected governments. If you think you are capable of deciding the state capital, then, why should there be a State Government and a State Cabinet? The High Court has clearly crossed its boundaries and jurisdiction to issue such directions," the Supreme Court averred while issuing the stay orders.
The stay orders of the Supreme Court and its stringent remarks against the Andhra Pradesh High Court's decision is being perceived as a favourable development for the YSRCP government in the state. It is expected that the apex court direction would only help in clearing the legal hurdles and boost Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy's efforts to decentralise the administration through the establishment of three capitals in the State.
The Supreme Court, while adjourning the hearing on the capital related petitions to January 31, also issued a notice to the Union Government to spell out its stand on the contentious issue. However, in some kind of a solace to the Capital region farmers, some of whom have been agitating for the development of Amaravati as the only capital, the Supreme Court refused to stay two other directions of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
These two directions pertained to the land pooling taken up within the capital region and the way forward with regard to the lands given away by the farmers.