Judiciary “crossed limits”: Jagan on HC verdict on 3 capitals issue


PTI, Mar 25, 2022, 10:27 AM IST

Vijayawada: The discussion centered mainly around the High Court ruling that ”the state Legislature lacked the competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital,” with the members asking what was the Assembly for if not to make laws.

Dharmana Prasada Rao and Buggana Rajendranath, in particular, referred to various judgments of the Supreme Court to buttress their charge that the High Court sought to transgress into the legislative domain.

Speaking towards the end of the discussion, the Chief Minister said the ”judiciary crossed its limits” and went against the federal spirit in issuing an impractical order.

He asserted that his government would go ahead with the decentralization plan (by establishing three different capitals for the state) as there was no alternative to it.

”Decentralisation is our policy. Decision on capitals is our right and responsibility,” Jagan Mohan Reddy maintained.

The High Court verdict, delivered by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, was ”like questioning not only the Constitution but also the powers of the legislature.” It was against the federal spirit and the legislative powers, the Chief Minister observed.

”Will the judiciary make laws? The legislature will then have no meaning. The judiciary has crossed its limits, which is unwarranted and uncalled for,” he said.

”We are not conducting this House to insult the High Court. We have great respect for the High Court. At the same time, the Legislature has the responsibility to safeguard the honor and powers of the Assembly,” the Chief Minister remarked.

Jagan Mohan Reddy pointed out that even the Centre categorically told Parliament and the High Court that selection of the capital was the state government’s prerogative.

Referring to the HC order that the state government and the AP Capital Region Development Authority complete infrastructure development like roads, drinking water, drainage, electricity in the Amaravati Capital City and Region within one month, the Chief Minister asked if that would be in any way possible.

The court also directed the state to construct and develop Amaravati capital city and capital region within six months’ time.

”The HC verdict is contrary to the Supreme Court’s orders that courts should not deliver verdicts that cannot be implemented. The HC judgment (of March 3) cannot be implemented,” Jagan Mohan Reddy stressed.

He said it would take at least 40 years to build the capital city.

”They (the existing capital cities) are what they are because of decades, if not centuries, of hard work. Even to create basic infrastructure here, we require at least Rs 1.09 lakh crore,” he said.

He announced that there was no going back on decentralization.

”That (decentralization) is the right path, even if it is full of hurdles. Decentralization means the development of all regions. It is everyone’s self-respect. Decentralization has no alternative,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the government was seeking legal counsel on the way forward and exploring alternatives in tune with the Constitution.

Winding up, Speaker Seetaram observed that there should be ”harmony and mutual respect” among all three constitutional organs.

”There should not be any encroachment into other’s domain. The legislature, executive, and judiciary must confine to their domain and not cross the thin lines of separation of powers,” the Speaker noted. The AP High Court had earlier ruled that the state Legislature ”lacked competence” to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating, or trifurcating the capital.

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