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CM, Ministers can’t be respondents in Capital relocation issue: AP High Court

The Andhra Pradesh High Court refused to make Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, some of his cabinet colleagues and advisors as respondents in a batch of petitions filed in connection with the decentralisation of administration.
 
Refusing to serve notices on them, the bench of Chief Justice JK Maheshwari, Justice AV Seshasai and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy, asked the petitioner as to how the court can conduct hearing into the statements made by the Chief Minister and others regarding capital shifting.
 
The court asked the petitioners to confine to the contents of their petitions which deal with relocation of HC to Kurnool and allocation of funds for the construction of Millennium Tower B in Visakhapatnam. With this, petitioners counsel U. Muralidhar Rao told the court that the issues not related to capital shifting will be removed from the petition.
 
Meanwhile, the bench asked the government to file an affidavit with respect to the vigilance commission and commissioner of enquiries offices, the area in which they are spread across, the area actually required to house the offices, the number of employees working in the two offices and the vacancies in the two offices. 
 
The bench said that if it is satisfied with the affidavit of the government, it will not issue any orders with respect to shifting of offices to Kurnool.
 
Advocate General S. Sriram said that the government even considered shifting the two offices to the APIIC building at Mangalagiri, but had to drop it as adequate space was not available there. The AG also explained about the staff pattern and the vacancies in the two offices.
 
When the bench sought to know whether the government will shift all the vigilance wing offices in various departments, the AG said it is not going to do so. At this juncture, the court asked as to why the office is being shifted to another district, if the vigilance wings in all the government departments are not being shifted to one place.
 
Meanwhile, lawyer Y. Nagi Reddy wanted the court to allow the representatives of Rayalaseema region to implead in the case. The court said it will hear the petitions at an appropriate time and adjourned the case to February 17.

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