The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad will be officially divided into two -- High Court of Telangana and High Court of Andhra Pradesh -- and start functioning separately from January 1 as per a presidential order.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, however, charged that the division was done in haste, probably to save YSRCP chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. He said this in Amaravati while reacting to the order that gave only five days time to shift judicial officers and lakhs of files to Andhra Pradesh from here.
“As per the order, the CBI Special Court in Nampally in Hyderabad will also be divided. Now a new judge will take over the special court to be established in Amaravati. As I understand the new judge will have to hear the arguments once again, giving Jagan lot of breathing time,” Naidu is said to have reasoned. Naidu also took umbrance at the AP state government not being consulted before issuing such a crucial order.
Protests and celebrations were seen at the Hyderabad High Court with lawyers who have to shift to Andhra Pradesh protesting against the order and Telangana lawyers celebrating the decision of the union government giving the appointment day of Telangana High court on 1 January 2019.
“There are over 3 lakh pending cases out of which at least 60% belong to AP. How can we shift all these within five days from the day of order? We need time to shift and search for houses in Amaravati,“ K B Ramanna Dora, President, AP High Court Lawyers Association said here.
Notwithstanding the protests, the Chief Justice of the combined court and Telangana HC Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan called the AP Advocate General Dammalapati Srinivas and sought to know the preparations being made to start the high court in Amaravati on the appointed day. The AG informed that nine courtrooms will be available in the interim HC complex and three more will be made available after Sankranti holidays.
On January 2, the oath-taking ceremony of AP Chief Justice Praveen Kumar Reddy will take place at the Chief Minister’s camp office in Vijayawada. The state governor, E S N Narasimhan, will first administer the oath to Justice Radhakrishnan here around 8.30 am and air dash to Amaravati to administer oath to Justice Reddy by 10.30 am.
By an order, registrar general of combined high court C H Manavata Rai allocated 539 judicial officers to AP high court and 362 officers to TS High Court under 58:42 ratio.