The Andhra Pradesh High Court has stayed the State Government's move to trifurcate the State's capital at Kurnool, Vishakhapatnam and Amaravati on plea moved by a group of farmers. .The farmers in the petitioner array had earlier volunteered to give up their land as part of a land pooling scheme started by the previous regime towards consolidating land for a single capital at Amaravati. .Grievance has been raised that the development efforts at Amaravati have been "severely stalled if not arbitrarily and wholly abandoned" by the YS Jagmohan Reddy-led regime that came into power last year. .The petitioners led by the Rajadhani Rytu Parirakshana Samithi (a society of farmers) have now challenged the validity of two acts, i.e. the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development authority Repeal Act, 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, both of which received the Governor's assent on July 31. .The two Acts had introduced the following key changes:The Amravati Region Development Authority replaced the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development AuthorityCreation of three State capitals at Kurnool (Judicial Capital), Vishakhapatnam (Executive Capital) and Amaravati (Legislative Capital)..A Full Bench comprising of Justices Rakesh Kumar, AV Sesha Sai and M Satyanarayana Murthy directed that status quo be maintained on Tuesday after a lengthy hearing. .Senior Advocate Shyam Divan led arguments for the Petitioners along with Advocates Aditya Swarup, Sai Sanjay Suraneni, Govind Manoharan and Avanija Inungati..The Respondents were represented by Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram and Senior Advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Niranjan Reddy along with counsel Mahfooz Nazki and Suman S..The matter has been listed to be taken up next on August 14..Why are farmers aggrieved?.The unique grievances raised by the farmers are rooted in their submissions they had surrendered their land for the development of a sole capital at Amaravati. .A Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) was set up by the previous regime as a scheme for “landowners volunteering to surrender their land against a guaranteed return of development and a reconstituted plot/land.”.As per the Master Plan under the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act (APCRDA), 2014, Amaravati was envisioned as not only a government administrative city but as an economic hub, with 27 townships and a planned population capacity of about 1-1.5 lakhs persons in each town, the petition highlights. .Thematically, it was planned to become the Financial, Government, Justice, Knowledge, Media, Sports, Electronics and Tourism City in various stretches of the area..29,754 original landowners from 22 revenue villages within Amaravati responded positively to the LPS and volunteered to surrender their livelihoods and their lands totally measure 33,771 areas, the plea states. .“I was uninterested in the State acquiring my land since the one-time payment of compensation would play a very minor role in substantially catering to the needs of my children. I was primarily attracted by the fact that by voluntarily surrounding my lands, I would become a land-owning member in a bustling state capital city, and a partner in its growth and development", reads the submissions made by one of the petitioner-farmers..Rs 42 crores was donated by philanthropic citizens as a contribution for the construction of the capital city, the petition further states..Interim government buildings were set up eventually and the seat of governance was shifted to Amaravati. From October 2016, about 6,000 employees including all ministers, secretaries and officials started functioning at the interim government complex, the petitioners state. ."As per the last available data, majority of the work has already been completed with various projects in the penultimate stages of construction or development", the petitioners go on to submit. .However, the arrival of a new regime in May 2019 eventually culminated in the Amaravati project being halted. The Government's disinterest in pursuing the project led to the withdrawal of funds by major lenders such as the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, it is stated..Added to this, an "oppressive investigation" has also been ordered on the LPS exercise on vague allegations, the petitioners submit..Raising grievance over this state of affairs, a petitioner farmer has submitted, "If Amaravati does not become the capital of the State, there is no reason for people to migrate here and consequently the local economy and value of my reconstituted plot would recede into insignificance.".Inter alia, it is also noted that the possession of housing units already constructed in Amaravati for the houseless poor has not been given, which is arbitrary and unlawful..2020 Acts involve a violation of Constitutional rights, say farmer-petitioners.The lands pooled by the petitioners comprised the centre of their livelihoods, it is stated. As such, the petitioners raise grievance that the 2020 Acts also extinguish their alternative livelihood under the APCRDA Act and violate Article 21 of the Constitution..Further, it is argued that in unilaterally depriving the rights of the petitioners, accrued by way of the voluntary Land Pooling Scheme, the Acts are unreasonable, unfair, arbitrary and violative of Article 14..The Acts are also contended to have impliedly repealed with retrospective effect the petitioners’ vested rights under the original Master Plan under the APCRDA Act. Therefore, it is in violation of Articles 300A and 14, it is contended..State does not have legislative competence, say petitioners.The petitioners claim that the State Legislative Council has been bypassed in enacting these two legislations in question. .The petition recounts that after the Bills for these legislations were passed by the State Legislative Assembly, the Upper House had decided to refer it to a select committee, which was not constituted for three months thereafter. .In the meanwhile, the petitioners state that the two Bills were re-introduced and passed in the Legislative Assembly again, and thereafter approved by the Government last month. It is stated that this is in violation of the procedure outlined in Articles 197 and 198 of the Constitution. .Going back further, the petitioners also question the validity of a report prepared by a High Powered Committee set up by the YSR regime, based on which the two challenged Acts were framed. .It is stated that this Committee report, was submitted on January 17 this year without taking into consideration the views of the farmers and the general public, contrary to earlier directions of the High Court. The Bills were tabled for the first time on January 20, three days after the report was submit. .Prayers.The prayers made by the petitioners, in view of the above submissions, include the following:.Declare the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Act, 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020 ultra vires Articles 3,4, 14, 19, 21, 197, 174, Parts IX and IXA, 300-A of the Constitution, read with Sections 5, 31 (2) and 94 of the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act, 2014.Direct the Government from acting on the report of the High Powered Committee, submitted on January 17.Restrain the State from shifting any of the offices of the three civic wings of the State including, but not limited to, the Raj Bhavan, Chief Minister’s Camp Office, offices of the Secretariat, Heads of Departments of the Government, Police Department, State Corporations etc. from their current locations in and around Amravati.Restrain the Government from trifurcating the capital for a period of 30 years or such time the Court deems fit.Direct the Government to implement the Master Plan codified under Section 39 of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014, including by constituting the necessary buildings and housing the offices of the three civic wings of the State Government including the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature, in Amravati.