VISAKHAPATNAM: The Port city, which has lost the capital city race to Vijayawada besides various prestigious institutions, seems to be losing the race for the High Court once gain to Vijayawada. The latest indication in this direction came during the press conference held by the Cabinet sub-committee on land-pooling for the new capital at Hyderabad Friday.
During the press conference, municipal administration and urban development minister K Narayana said that the government would begin land-pooling shortly and complete the first phase of capital development within three years. “We plan to take up construction of the Assembly, the Secretariat, the High Court and the residential quarters apart from a couple of other major institutions during the first phase,” he declared.
Inquiries by Express revealed that the state government is of the opinion that the state High Court should be located in the same place along with the Assembly and the Secretariat as the officials need to attend the court on a regular basis in different cases. Sources in the Chief Minister’s Office confirmed the same and said that though the government is keen on decentralisation of administration, it is firm on having all key institutions of legislature, executive and juciciary in the same location to ensure smooth conduct of governance.
As per norms, the President of India will decide on the location of the High Court but only after appropriate consultations with the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature in Hyderabad for AP state and Telangana state, the AP government and the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.
Apart from Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta of the Hyderabad High Court, the Sivaramakrishnan Committee too weighed in favour of Visakhapatnam for setting up of a new Andhra Pradesh High Court. But there seems to be a strong opposition to the proposal from the bureaucratic circles.
“Locating the High Court away from the capital is possible, if there is an effective transport system. But given our present financial condition, it is not possible immediately. Besides being expensive, travelling to other cities to attend the court cases also would be time-consuming. If the High Court is located elsewhere, at least two-three top officials will be out of the capital attending the cases on a daily basis,” said sources in the CMO.
However, it is learnt that chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu asked his Cabinet colleagues to examine the possibility of setting up a high court bench at Visakhapatnam and another in Rayalaseema region (likely in Kurnool).