The High Court of Andhra Pradesh while hearing several habeas corpus petitions described the YSRCP government’s decision to shift capital from Amaravati as a “mindless act.”
Immediately the state government’s Special Counsel S.S.Prasad objected to use of phrases like “mindless act” and other remarks from the division bench of Justices Rakesh Kumar and J. Uma Devi. The bench went on to question whether it is a mindless act or not on the part of the state to shift the capital after spending thousands of crores. The court even mentioned that many buildings were left half constructed in Amaravati and questioned whether it was a waste of tax-payer money or not.
Replying to the Bench the Counsel of the government mentioned that he is not the Counsel to argue the capital bills, and even reminded the bench that they are not the judges concerned with the matter. Special Counsel Prasad addressed the bench and stated that the High Court should not comment on administrative decisions and the three-capitals decision was purely an administrative decision of the government. The High Court took a serious exception to the comments of the Counsel and questioned that if the government is following the rule of law, and informed the Counsel not to question the authority of the bench. The Special Counsel further shared that it was difficult for the advocates to even get tea in the region of the High Court and there were no facilities to get lunch and questioned how a State Capital would be set-up in the region.
To this, the High Court further suggested that there is an urgent need to restrict criminals from entering the politics, it mentioned that the criminals are entering the politics and abusing democratic values. The bench even observed that even for an appointment of peon in a government office, background checks happen, why this should not become a norm for politicians. These statements are indicative of the High Court as implicit reference to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Jagan against whom numerous cases of corruption are pending.
The comments of the Bench not only stand out but are important. The matter was postponed for hearing to 23 November.