Hyderabad, August 4: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Tuesday stayed the notifications issued by the YSR Congress government on the formation of three capitals for the state till August 14.
Acting on a petition filed by Rajadhani Rythu Parirakshana Samithi (Committee of farmers to protect the capital), a three-member division bench of the high court comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, Justice Sesha Sai and Justice Satyanaryana Murthy granted stay on the implementation of the gazette notifications and asked the state government to file a counter within 10 days, Hindustan Times reported.
The high court ordered that the state government maintain status quo with regard to Amaravati as the capital city and not to proceed with any moves with regard to the shifting of executive capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.
On July 31, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government issued two separate notifications – one on abolition of AP Capital Region Development Authority formed in December 2014 to develop Amaravati as the capital of AP; and the second one on formation of three capitals for the state – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, judicial capital at Kurnool and legislative capital at Amaravati.
The notification followed the assent given by Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan earlier in the day for the two bills passed by the state legislature.
However, the farmers of Amaravati challenged these notifications in the high court.
When the petition came up for hearing on Tuesday, the division bench asked the state government to file a counter affidavit. The state advocate general asked for 10 days’ time for the government to file the counter.
When the counsels for petitioners expressed apprehensions that the government might go ahead with the shift of some of the offices to Visakhapatnam during this 10-day period, the high court ordered that status be maintained on the gazette notifications and granted a stay on the implementation of the notifications till August 14.
Meanwhile, the farmers of Amaravati continued with their protests over the state government’s move to form the three capitals. The protesters, including women, formed a human chain all along the road leading to the high court and pleaded the judges passing through the road with folded hands.
Some of them were carrying national flags and some others were on their knees as the convoy of judges passed by. Some women protestors also offered “aarti” to the high court building before the arrival of the judges, seeking a favourable judgment for them.