In a setback to the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court has not accepted a request from the state to stay the high court order from March last year that told the YSRCP government to develop Amaravati as the state's capital within six months.
Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagaratna said the court will hear the request along with other petitions linked to the issue on July 11.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced in the state assembly that he would be shifting to Visakhapatnam and working from the coastal city from July.
Justice Joseph is to retire on June 16 and the issue is expected to come up before a new bench in July.
After the bifurcation of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in 2014 into Telangana and a truncated Andhra Pradesh, both were supposed to share Hyderabad as capital for 10 years.
Chandrababu Naidu, who was elected Chief Minister of the new state, announced he would build a world class greenfield capital at Amaravati. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone for the ground-breaking ceremony.
Thousands of acres of land were acquired and big plans were drawn up, with building of the new capital, even though funds proved to be a big challenge.
When Mr Reddy became Chief Minister in May 2019, his government alleged huge real estate scam in land acquisition and also plans for the new capital at Amaravati and scrapped the AP Capital Region Development Authority.
Mr Reddy passed a new law announcing decentralisation and said the state would have three capitals - a judicial capital at Kurnool, a legislative capital at Amaravati and an executive capital at Vizag.
But that ran into legal trouble. The government then withdrew its decentralisation bill and cancelled the APCRDA in November.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court had ruled in favour of Amaravati farmers in March 2022, asking for the capital to be built at Amaravati as per the master plan given in the Capital Region Development Authority Act, in six months. The state government went to the Supreme Court.
This was in response to multiple petitions filed by farmers who had challenged the scrapping of the CRDA Act passed by the Chandrababu Naidu government for developing a grand capital at Amaravati, and for which they had contributed land.
A division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra gave its final verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Decentralisation Act and the repeal of the Andhra Pradesh CRDA Act.
In November, the state government withdrew the AP Decentralisation Act and the CRDA Repeal Act.
The high court had continued the hearing after some petitioners said there were more unresolved issues linked to the CRDA act, including transfer of developer plots to land owners who have given away their farm lands, development or basic infrastructure and mortgaging of lands in banks.