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Andhra Pradesh High Court to hear capital shifting pleas separately

The Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the State and Central governments to file their counters in various petitions filed against the proposal of the government to relocate the High Court to Kurnool, the government’s three-capital plan and pleas challenging the reports of the GN Rao committee, Boston Consulting Group and the High-Powered Committee. 
 
The court said it will hear the petitions related to relocation of High Court and capital development issues and the petitions challenging various committees constituted by the government separately.
 
The three-member bench of Chief Justice JK Maheshwari, Justice AV Sesha Sai and Justice Mallavolu Satyanarayana Murthy, heard the arguments on the petitions filed against capital relocation and related aspects. Arguing on behalf of one of the petitioners, senior counsel Devadat Kamat urged the court to give instructions to the government to commence the works in Amaravati that were stalled by the government. 
 
The counsel also contended that the issue of relocation of the High Court from Amaravati to Kurnool does not fall under the jurisdiction of the State government. The counsel said that the High Court relocation falls under the Schedule VII of the Constitution and it comes under the purview of the Centre.
 
The counsel also maintained that the government had earlier filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that it will construct a permanent HC building in Amaravati. There cannot be a change of stand once the government changes, the counsel said. 
 
When the counsels of some other petitioners started to put their arguments, the bench asked them to refrain from making political remarks and confine to legal aspects of the case.
 
Supreme Court senior counsel Ashok Bhan said that the High Powered Committee constituted by the government had submitted its report without taking into consideration the opinion of the farmers who gave their lands for the capital. This is against the principles of natural justice, he said.

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