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Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on declaration of Amaravati as only capital of Andhra Pradesh

The Supreme Court issued notice to the Union government and others on Monday on a petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh government, challenging the March 3 verdict of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which declared Amaravati as the only capital of the state.

The order was passed by the Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice B.V. Nagarathna on a petition filed by the state government, seeking revival of its plan to have three capitals in Andhra Pradesh.

The Apex Court further stayed directions 3-7 of the High Court order, which had ordered the state government to fully construct and develop Amaravati capital city and capital region of Andhra Pradesh within six months.

Observing that not staying the High Court directions would be as good as rejecting the plea, the Supreme Court listed the matter to January 31 for further hearing.

The Andhra Pradesh government, led by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, had decided to make three capitals in different cities, in order to ensure development in all parts of the state.

It proposed an administrative capital in Visakhapatnam, judicial capital in Kurnool and legislative capital in Amaravati. However, the plan failed to materialise due to numerous petitions filed against the same before the High Court.

The proposed formation of three capitals by the state government was challenged by the farmers of Amaravati, who claimed that the government had entered into agreements with them for offering their land under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), promising to develop a new capital.

The High Court Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra had observed that the state legislature had no competence to make any legislation on the State capital and directed the state government not to shift any office from the present capital city of Amaravati. 

It also directed the government of Andhra Pradesh to pay Rs 50,000 to the petitioners.

Further, the High Court had directed the State to inform it on a regular basis about the implementation of its order on the progress of work in Amaravati.

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