Amaravati Rajadhani Sameekarana Rytu Samakhya and Rajadhani Parirakshna Samithi filed separate petitions challenging the single judge orders permitting the padayatra and imposition of restrictions subsequently.
Arguing on behalf of the petitioners, senior counsel B Adinarayana Rao said the high court’s orders were coming in the way of people from exercising their fundamental rights.
He said the petitioners wanted to express solidarity with the farmers’ padayatra, but the orders limiting the number of persons in the padayatra to only 600 and prohibiting others from joining the walkathon are not allowing them express their solidarity. The HC, while granting permission to the padayatra, cannot scuttle the same fundamental rights of the petitioners who want to express their solidarity.
The bench asked Adinarayana Rao what was the need for going on a padayatra even after the full bench of the high court held that the state government cannot trifurcate the capital.
The judgment also clearly said that the government cannot shift the high court to Kurnool but processions are being carried out demanding the same in Kurnool. On the other hand, round table conferences are being held in support of three capitals.
Neither the padayatra by Amaravati farmers nor the programmes being conducted by those with different points of view are appreciable, especially after the categorical ruling given by the high court full bench, said the Chief Justice. As special leave petitions (SLPs) have been filed by both the contending parties, they should wait till the apex court adjudicates the matter before taking up processions and counter processions, he said.
Responding to the remarks, Adinarayana Rao said the high court’s orders are not being implemented by the state government and those at the helm continue to make statements that the executive capital will be shifted to Visakhapatnam very soon.
The Chief Justice said if the court’s orders are not being implemented, contempt petitions need to be filed following due procedure, instead of taking out padayatras for implementation of the high court’s orders. The bench further observed that these are all “political yatras” which cannot be encouraged.
Adinarayana Rao contended that when Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ are being permitted without any restrictions, why should restrictions be imposed on the padayatra of farmers who are walking for a cause. Taking a serious note, the bench asked how the petitions are maintainable when the petitioners are not affected parties yet raising a legal question whether a third party who are not party to the original writ petition can file an appeal or not. The bench said the high court is getting clogged up with these kinds of petitions.
Arguing on behalf of the government, advocate general S Sriram said the petitions are not maintainable and they have filed a detailed counter on the same. However, as the counter filed by the government was not available in the court records, the HC posted the matter for further hearing to Nov 7.