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President Ramnath Kovind on Wednesday ordered the separation of the Hyderabad High Court into two separate HCs of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. The bifurcated courts will start functioning from January 1, 2019.

The Supreme Court has earlier ordered that the two separate courts be notified by New Years day. The principal seat of the Andhra Pradesh High Court is Amaravati, the capital of the State. The High Court in Hyderabad will function separately as the High Court of the State of Telangana. The Presidential notification quoted Article 214 of the Constitution which provides that there shall be a High Court for each State. It pointed out that under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, both States were to have a common high court, till separate ones were formed.

The Supreme Court has told the Hyderabad High Court to accept the Andhra Pradesh government’s proposal to run the state’s HC in temporary accommodation, till the final buildings were completed. After the bifurcation of the state four years ago into Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, Hyderabad remains the capital of both states for ten years, but the new High Court for the former is expected to come up at Amaravati, the state’s new capital and would be ready by December this year. . The SC also asked the central government to issue a notification over the matter.

A two-member Supreme Court Bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing a plea filed by the central government, which had challenged a 2015 order of the Hyderabad High Court. The Hyderabad HC had said that the permanent HC for Andhra must be constructed within the state only. The Centre had challenged this, stating that as Hyderabad was the common capital of both states for 10 years and the delay in bifurcation was causing several problems, a temporary HC could be established in the city as there was enough infrastructure. The Andhra government in its response said that the temporary accomodation could be arranged in its own upcoming capital.

–India Legal Bureau

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