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It is looking increasingly likely that the long-drawn struggle to bifurcate the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will be resolved as early as the new year.
A notice published by the Andhra Pradesh High Court Advocates’ Association reveals that the new High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi is likely to be inaugurated by January 1, 2019, in line with the Supreme Court’s direction.
The Executive Committee and the Committee of Senior Advocates of the Association were invited to attend a meeting with the Committee of Judges headed by Justice V Ramasubramaniam of the High Court, held on November 26, to discuss matters relating to bifurcation.
At the meeting, it was revealed that there was “every possibility of shifting the High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh to Amaravathi by January 1, 2019”, subject to notification by the Government of India.
Also discussed at the meeting were the facilities that will be on offer at the new High Court premises at Amaravathi. These include:
Other facilities include an Advocates Block with 150 Advocate Chambers, proper transportation, temporary accommodation for needy advocates, separate dining halls for men and women advocates, space for lockers, function halls. Also discussed was the “change of present court timings”, although this aspect remains unclear.
The Advocates Association will hold a General Body Meeting on December 5 at 1:15 pm to further discuss the issues surrounding the bifurcation and the potential shift.
Stakeholders from both States have been calling for the bifurcation of the High Court since the passing of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act in 2014. The Act makes a provision for separate High Courts in each State. To ensure that the same was implemented, a writ petition was filed in the High Court in 2015. The same was disposed of with directions to the State government to identify and locate the site of the new Andhra Pradesh High Court.
In an appeal against this order, the Centre stated that functioning of two High Courts within the same premises was impermissible as per the Act.
On the last date of hearing of the matter, Senior Advocate Fali Nariman, appearing for the State of Telangana, submitted that a makeshift building for housing the new Andhra Pradesh High Court at Amaravathi was almost ready and would be completed by December 15, 2018. Noting that all concerned parties were in favour of the move, the Court held,
“Since all the requirements stand fulfilled, there is no embargo for the Competent Authority to issue a Notification bifurcating the courts into the High Court of Telangana and High Court of Andhra Pradesh respectively.”
The Centre was directed to ensure the same by January 1, 2019. And so far, it seems that all is going according to plan.
Read the notice: