HC- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:   The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday refused to issue any direction with regard to the shifting of capital city till it examines the counter affidavit filed by the State government. It observed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions for the continuation of Assembly, Secretariat and High Court even before the State government takes a decision is premature.

Rajadhani Rythu Pariraksahana Samithi secretary Danekula Rama Rao has filed PIL in the High Court challenging the GO 585 issued on September 13, 2019, constituting GN Rao Committee to study capital city development issues. Hearing the PIL,  the bench comprising Chief Justice JK Maheswari and Justice M Venkataramana directed the government to file a counter affidavit by January 21 and adjourned the case hearing to January 23. The government was also directed to submit the GN Rao Committee report and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report before the court.  The High Court Bench also heard the two implead petitions filed in the issue. 

Ambati Sudhakar Rao, counsel for the petitioner, pointed out that there was no mention of the CRDA Act neither in the GO issued constituting GN Rao Committee nor the latest GO constituting high-powered committee.  He said farmers gave lands to the government under the Land Pooling Scheme and developing those lands and giving the promised returnable plots is the responsibility of the government. 

The Bench pointed out that there was no mention of any timeframe for the development of lands in the CRDA Act and said it was only mentioned that lands given by the farmers would be developed. It further observed that developing the lands belonging to the farmers and the capital city are two different issues. 
The court made it clear that till they hear the government, they will not give any directions. Stating that the BCG is yet to submit its report, Advocate General S Sriram said there is no need for an immediate hearing. 

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