The Andhra Pradesh high court ruled that the state government does not have legislative competence to pass any resolution or law for change of capital or bifurcating or trifurcating the capital city.
The YSRC government headed by Jagan Mohan Reddy had dropped the plan to develop Amaravati as the capital city after coming to office in 2019 and decided to have three capitals -Amaravati, Visakhapatnam, and Kurnool.
The court, however, directed the state government and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority to complete town planning schemes according to the Amaravati capital city master plan within six months.
The judges held that only Parliament had the powers to enact legislation on a state capital. Applying the "doctrine of living tree" and previous judgements of the Supreme Court, the high court said the legislature, executive, and judiciary are part and parcel of the "supplemental, incidental or consequential provisions" employed in Article 4 of the Constitution and that Parliament alone is competent to undertake such exercise, not the state legislature.
Interestingly, the Centre has notified Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh and represented it as such in the latest map by the Survey of India.
The state government and the APCRDA were directed to complete infrastructure development and basic amenities. These include roads, electricity, drainage and other facilities within one month after the order.