Hands tied on setting up separate HC for AP: Centre
Making its stance on the bifurcation of the Hyderabad high court clear, the Centre on Thursday said it will not grant funds if a separate high court for Andhra Pradesh is set up outside its territory .
During the hearing of a review petition filed by the state of Telangana and few others, additional solicitor general K M Nataraj, representing the Centre, told a bench of acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice Sanjay Kumar that authorities should not attempt to set up AP high court outside its geographical boundaries.
Telangana had expressed its readiness to allot separate building and provide facilities for running AP high court temporarily in Hyderabad, but the HC in its judgement on May 2015, had said Telangana has no role in the matter and ruled against a separate court in Hyderabad. It is this judgement Telangana is now seeking to be reviewed.
Justice Bhosale sought to know from the ASG whether they would agree if the high court of AP was set up in Hyderabad till its own court gets ready in the state’s upcoming capital Amaravati.
Nataraj told the bench that President has to notify the setting up of the HC after the same is approved by the Union cabinet, but he also mentioned the HC’s 2015 order.
“Even before we could act on the bifurcation issue, the HC in its May 2015 order had imposed a restriction on us saying we should not set it up outside AP territory ,“ the ASG averred.
“We must be allowed to act first, before you find fault with us,“ he said and sought deletion of the part of the judgement that tied the hands of the Centre. When the bench insisted t the Centre should say `yes that the Centre should say `yes or no’ to its question whether it was acceptable to it to set up AP HC in Hyderabad, though temporarily , the counsel replied, “it is a hypothetical question.“ “Our two sons are fighting and you gave an injunction against us from acting in the matter. By virtue of this judgement, we cannot even notify the setting up of AP HC in AP ,“ Nataraj said referring to the ongoing agitation over bifurcation of the court and allocation of judicial cadre.
The bench at one stage told the Centre that the 2015 judgment of the high court has made it mandatory for the Centre to finance the setting up of AP HC and also complete it within three months.
“It has been one year and three months now and nothing has been done, You are liable for contempt,“ Justice Bhosale warned the ASG. In fact, Justice Bhosale said the judgment also made it mandatory for the current HC chief justice to consult the chief minister of AP and decide within three months the location of the AP high court. “We appointed a judges’ committee to look into the proposed location and our full court had even approved the site at Amaravati,“ the CJ told the ASG. “You are lagging behind, you have not complied with the order of the high court,“ he said.Petitioner T Dhangopal Rao sought permission of the court to move a contempt plea against the Centre because it failed to implement the HC order. Nataraj dished out out some figures of the funds released by the Centre to AP, but that contained no specific releases to HC construction. He refused to give a categorical reply as to what would be the stand of the Centre on locating AP HC in Hyderabad. “Last year’s judgement had affected our power to notify the setting up of HC.First that has to be reviewed and rectified,“ the ASG said. Earlier in the day, Telangana advocate general K Ramakrishna Reddy and senior counsel D Prakash Reddy argued at length seeking the review of the judgment. “It is not correct to say that the AP high court cannot be set up in Hyderabad temporarily,“ they said. The bench reserved its orders.
eenadu news paper 22-07-2016 : http://epaper.eenadu.net