Jagan govt moves SC, seeks stay on HC order on Amaravati

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Despite receiving several setbacks in both the High Court and the Supreme Court, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy seems to have not learnt any lesson and continues to be in a defiant mode.

After the High Court directed the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government to maintain status quo with regard to Amaravati as the capital city, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the HC order.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on August 4 directed the State government to maintain status quo for 10 days on the shifting of government offices from Amaravati.

A dvision bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, Justice Akula Venkata Seshasai, and Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy directed the Jagan government to file a counter to the petitions by August 14, but an impatient Andhra Pradesh government has now filed a Special Leave Petition seeking a stay on HC order.

The Modi government has already washed off its hands on the issue of shifting capital to Vizag from Amaravati by making its stand clear that it is a state subject and that the central government has no role to play.

The central government also filed an affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court that it has no role in capital creation.

Further, the union government contended that it is the prerogative of a state to decide the location of its capital city. With the counter affidavit, it has now become clear that the Modi government will not interfere in the decision of the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh to shift the administrative capital of the state from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.

Earlier, the High Court had sought complete details on the estimated cost of construction of the capital city in Amaravati and how much public money was spent so far.

Hearing a batch of petitions, a three-bench judge comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy and Justice A V Sesha Sai asked advocate Unnam Muralidhar to submit the details over capital construction in Amaravati.

The court served notices to the State Accountant General asking him to submit a detailed report on the source of the funds. The case was posted for the next hearing on August 14.

On his part, Unnam Muralidhar submitted before the court that so far Rs 52,000 crore had been spent as per the AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) records.

The High Court advocate stated that more than Rs 52,000 crore was spent on infrastructure, government buildings, water, power supply and other works.

The High Court expressed deep concern over the money that had so far been spent on construction of the capital in Amaravati.

The High Court asked a volley of questions such as how many buildings were completed, how much money was spent and the outstanding amount to be paid to the contractors. The court asked the government to submit complete details.

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