The notification of the President’s Order on the constitution of a separate High Court for Andhra Pradesh, with the principal seat at Amaravati, cannot be construed as the Central government’s decision to declare Amaravati as the capital of the State.
The principal seat of the High Court need not necessarily be in the State capital, the Centre maintained. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs made this assertion in an additional affidavit filed in the High Court in the ongoing litigation against the State government’s move to have three capitals for Andhra Pradesh.
The Court is hearing a batch of writ petitions filed by various stakeholders seeking that the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, be declared as ultra vires the Constitution.
The High Court, while ordering status quo on the implementation of the Act and also the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Act, 2020, posted the case for further hearing to September 21.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had already filed a counter-affidavit last month stating that the State government vide an order on April 23, 2015, notified that the capital city be named Amaravati.
“The Government of Andhra Pradesh had earlier chosen Amaravati as the capital of the state and had notified the same vide their Government Order dated April 23, 2015. Based on the said notification, Survey of India incorporated Amaravati as capital of Andhra Pradesh in the latest political map of India (English 9th Edition 2019 and Hindi 6th Edition 2020),” the MHA added.
The Centre said, “In pursuance of Article 214 of the Constitution and in exercise of powers conferred under provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the President, vide an order dated December 26, 2018, constituted a separate High Court for the state of Andhra Pradesh from January 1, 2019 with the principal seat at Amaravati.”
“Notification of the President’s Order on the constitution of a separate High Court cannot be construed as the Central government’s decision to declare Amaravati as the Capital of Andhra Pradesh,” the MHA asserted in the additional affidavit.