Asia & Australia

January 02, 2019

Telangana, Andhra Pradesh get separate high courts


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The first day of the New Year witnessed a historic moment as separate high courts for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh came into being on January 1, 2019. With this move, there are now 25 high courts in India.

A Notice by the Registrar of the Andhra Pradesh High Court read, “All the learned Advocates/parties-in-person are informed that the Full Court of the High Court will assemble at 10.15 a.m. in Court Hall No.1. The session would be addressed by the learned Advocate General and the learned Chairman, Bar Council of the State of Andhra Pradesh, to mark the event of constitution of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh...”

The new website link for the Andhra Pradesh High Court is http://hc.ap.nic.in/, while that for the Telangana High Court is http://hc.ts.nic.in/.

The first judge to take oath as the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court in Hyderabad was Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan. Thereafter, the chief justice administered oath to 12 judges of the high court in the court premises, including Justice Raghvendra S. Chauhan, Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Justice M.S.

Ramachandra Rao, Justice Adavalli Rajasheker Reddy, Justice Ponugoti Naveen Rao, Justice Challa Kodanda Ram, Justice Dr. B. Siva Sankara Rao, Justice Dr. Shameem Akther, Justice P. Keshava Rao, Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili, and Justice T. Amarnath Goud.

Justice C Praveen Kumar took oath as the Acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court at Vijayawada. In addition, 13 judges were sworn in at the Andhra Pradesh HC, including Justice S.V. Bhatt, Justice Akula Venkata Sesha Sai, Justice M. Seetharama Murti, Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao, Justice T. Sunil Chowdary, Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy, Justice G. Shyam Prasad, Justice J. Uma Devi, Justice N. Balayogi, Justice T. Rajani, Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu, Justice K. Vijaya Lakshmi, and Justice M. Ganga Rao.

According to the president's order, Justice Ramesh Ranganathan, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court, will head the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

As the temporary building to accommodate the high court in the state capital was not ready, the state government converted the Chief Minister's camp office in Vijayawada into ad-hoc court premises, which was inaugurated by Supreme Court Justice N V Ramana.

Earlier, on November 5, 2018, a Supreme Court bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan gave green signal for issuing a notification with regard to setting up a separate High Court at Andhra Pradesh in Amaravati.

The new HC was expected to function from a temporary structure in the state's capital till a permanent building is set up at the 'Justice City' being planned in Amaravati.

The bench had observed, “We expect such a notification to be issued by January 1, 2019 so that the two High Courts start functioning separately and High Court of Andhra Pradesh also starts functioning in the new building at Amaravati at the earliest."

This decision for setting up a separate high court arose from a case wherein the Centre had filed an appeal challenging the 2015 judgment of the HC Division Bench headed by then Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta which ruled that the high court for AP, whether temporary or permanent, should be set up only on the territory of AP state. In response, the government of Andhra Pradesh had said that the temporary accommodation could also be arranged in its own upcoming capital.

The state had told the court that the building where the Andhra Pradesh High Court would be temporarily shifted would be ready by December 15.

The bench had then said, "It is clear that the Centre, Telangana, and AP want two High Courts. It is also clear that the Judges of the High Court, who would become Judges of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, are satisfied with the facilities in the said building inasmuch as Full Court of the High Court has approved the proposal after Inspection Committee of Judges submitted a report in this behalf."

The bench had added, ‘‘In Amaravati, Justice City is under construction where the High Court and subordinate courts and even some tribunals would be accommodated and there is a provision for the construction of residential complex for the Judges of the High Court and judicial officers of the subordinate courts.”

Notably, the bifurcation was conducted as per the guidelines provided in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. A statement on the website of the Telangana State Portal, Government of Telangana, read, “The President of India, on December 26, 2018, has issued orders bifurcating The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh into High Court of Andhra Pradesh with the principal seat at Amaravati and High Court for the State of Telangana with the principal seat at Hyderabad. The bifurcation and the constitution of separate High Courts for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will come into effect from January 1, 2019.”

To read the entire list of Allocation of Officers and employees of High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad to the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and to the High Court for the State of Telangana, please view the file attached herein.

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