The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the State Government to file affidavit within 10 days explaining its decision to shift the state secretariat from Velagapudi in Amravathi to Visakhapatnam.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice J K Maheswari, Justice A.V. Sesha Sai and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy was hearing a petition filed by Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi seeking the Courts indulgence in the government’s decision to unilaterally shift the capital city from Amaravati to three different locations under the garb of ‘decentralisation of administration/governance’.
The petitioner has also prayed that the shifting of the Capital city be declared arbitrary and also urged the court to direct the Central government to abstain from causing financial loss to the State exchequer by allowing a change in the existing infrastructure and desist from relinquishing infrastructure projects worth about ₹52,840 crore.
Advocate General A. Sriram appearing for the State Government informed the bench that the shifting of the capital city would not take place until the passage of the Bill pending in the legislature. It was further stated by Sriram that there were other bills which were passed by the Assembly in January 2020 but was awaiting the response of the Select committee. These bill were pertaining to the shifting of the capital – AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and the AP-Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bills.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner pointed out that YSRCP Rajya Sabha member Vijaysai Reddy had made several statements which proved government’s intention of shifting the capital.
The bench directed the AG to respond on the statements made by Vijaysai Reddy.
-India Legal Bureau