Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation Bill, 2020 

#GS2 #Polity&Governance 

Governor of Andhra Pradesh has given his assent to the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Repeal Bills, 2020. 

What does it mean? 

  • The clearance of the decentralisation Bill facilitates the development of Amaravati, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam as the Legislative, Judicial and Executive Capitals respectively. 
  • The repeal of the CRDA paves the way for the formation of the Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority. The government is free now to give the ‘three capitals’ proposal a tangible shape while a batch of petitions that challenged the two Bills is pending adjudication by the High Court. 
  • As per the Decentralisation Bill, Visakhapatnam will have the Raj Bhavan, the Secretariat and offices of the Heads of Departments, and Amaravati will be the seat of the Legislature. Regarding the judicial capital, the Bill says: “The seat of all State judicial institutions established under the State legislation, shall, as far as practicable, be located in Kurnool.” 
  • Accordingly, the principal seat of the High Court will be located in Kurnool and Benches constituted as per the procedure laid down in the A.P. Reorganisation Act, 2014. 
  • The Bills were considered as ‘deemed to be passed’ as one month has elapsed after their introduction in the Legislative Council for the second time, as per Clause 2 of Article 197 of the Constitution notwithstanding the fact that they were not cleared by the Upper House. 

Article 197 of the Constitution  

  • It deals with the restriction on powers of Legislative Council as to Bills other than Money Bills. 
  • Clause 1 – If a bill passed by the Legislative Assembly of a state is transmitted to the Legislative Council, and it is either rejected by the Council or more than more than three months have elapsed from the date on which the Bill is laid before the Council without the Bill being passed by it; or the Bill is passed by the Council with amendments to which the Legislative Assembly does not agree; the Legislative Assembly may, subject to the rules regulating its procedure, pass the Bill again in the same or in any subsequent session with or without such amendments, if any, as have been made, suggested or agreed to by the Legislative Council and then transmit the Bill as so passed to the Legislative Council 
  • Clause 2 – If after a Bill has been so passed for the second time by the Legislative Assembly and transmitted to the Legislative Council, the Bill is rejected by the Council; or more than one month elapses from the date on which the Bill is laid before the Council without the Bill being passed by it; or the Bill is passed by the Council with amendments to which the Legislative Assembly does not agree; the Bill shall be deemed to have been passed by the Houses of the Legislature of the State in the form in which it was passed by the Legislative Assembly for the second time with such amendments, if any, as have been made or suggested by the Legislative Council and agreed to by the Legislative Assembly. 

Multiple capitals in a state  

  • Several states in India have separate judicial capitals i.e. their High Courts in the different districts rather than in their state capitals because of the historical reasons.  
  • For example, in Uttar Pradesh, while the state capital is Lucknow, the High Court is at Prayagraj.  
  • Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, while the state capital is Bhopal, the High Court is at Jabalpur and in Gujarat, while the state capital is Gandhinagar, the High Court is at Ahmedabad. 
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