No mandate for single capital of state: Centre reiterates inability to take call on Andhra capital row
The Under Secretary in the MHA Lalita T Hedaoo filed an additional affidavit in the High Court, which is dealing with petitions related to the Andhra govt’s proposal to set up three capitals.
VIJAYAWADA: The Centre has again clarified its stand on the issue of the state capital, saying the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 only provides for financial assistance to create essential facilities in the new capital as chosen by the state and not for deciding a capital by the Central government. It also clarified that there is no mandate that there should be a single capital for the state.
The Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Lalita T Hedaoo on Thursday filed an additional affidavit in the High Court, which is dealing with petitions related to the AP government’s proposal to set up three capitals, in response to a rejoinder filed by the petitioner Done Sambashiva Roa and others.
In the affidavit, the Under Secretary said, “The petitioner contended that the phrase ‘a capital for the State of AP’ used in Section 6 of the APRA, 2014 and Section 94(3) and (4) read with the 13th schedule of the Act connotes that the Act mandates a single capital city. It is submitted that Section 13 of The General Clauses Act, 1897 states that in all Central Acts and regulations, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, words in the singular shall include the plural and vice versa. Thus, it is made amply clear that the interpretation of the petitioner is shallow.”
With reference to Section 94(3) and (4) of the Act, the affidavit said it provides for financial aid by the Centre to the state to create essential facilities in the new capital and facilitate denotification of degraded forest land, if necessary. “The provision only talks about providing financial assistance by the Central government for the new capital as chosen by the state and not for deciding a capital for the state of AP by the Centre,” the affidavit said.
Further, the Centre made it clear that under Article 3 of the Constitution of India, there is a provision only for creation of new states and other related matters.
“No provision in respect of capital is laid down in Article 3 of the Indian Constitution.”The Centre, while referring to the setting up of High Court at Amaravati said, “Notification of President’s Order regarding constitution of a separate HC by the Central government cannot be construed as the Central government’s decision to declare as the capital of Andhra Pradesh, as the Principal Seat of HC need not be in the capital city of the state.”