Following a Supreme Court order, the Central government has notified the constitution of a new High Court for the state of Andhra Pradesh effective from January 1, 2019, with the principal seat at Amaravati.
The notification dated December 26, 2018, states that “In pursuance of article 214 of the Constitution and the Order issued by the Supreme Court of India and in exercise of powers conferred under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 30, sub-section (1) of section 31 and sub-section (2) of section 31 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, the President hereby constitutes a separate High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh, namely, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, from the 1st day of January, 2019 with the principal seat of such High Court at Amaravati in the State of Andhra Pradesh and the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall become the High Court for the State of Telangana.”
Sixteen HC judges, including Justice Ramesh Ranganathan, who is now the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, shall become judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court from January 1, 2019.
The other judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court are:- Justices Chagari Praveen Kumar, Sarasa Venkatanarayana Bhatti, Akula Venkata Sesha Sai, Dama Seshadri Naidu (now working on transfer as a Kerala High Court judge), Mandhata Seetharama Murti, Upmaka Durga Prasad Rao, Talluri Sunil Chowdary, Mallavolu Satyanarayana Murthy, Gudiseva Shyam Prasad, Kumari Javalakar Uma Devi, Nakka Balayogi, Telaprolu Rajani, Durvasula Venkata Subramanya Suryanarayana Somayajulu, Kongara Vijaya Lakshmi and Manthoj Ganga Rao.
The new Telangana High Court will have a strength of 10 judges. They are Justices Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar, Mamidanna Satya Ratna Sri Ramachandra Rao, Adavalli Rajasheker Reddy, Ponugoti Naveen Rao, Challa Kodandaram Chowdary, Bulusu Siva Sankara Rao, Dr. Shameem Akther, Potlapalli Keshava Rao, Abhinand Kumar Shavili and Todupunuri Amarnath Goud.
The notification mentions the Supreme Court order in the case of Union of India v. T. Dhangopal wherein the court held that there was “no embargo for the Competent Authority to issue a notification bifurcating the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad into the High Court of Telangana and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, respectively, and such a notification to be issued by the 1st day of January, 2019 so that the two High Courts start functioning separately and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh also starts functioning in the new building at the earliest.”
With the enactment of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States, viz., State of Andhra Pradesh and State of Telangana.
The Act, which had come into effect from June 2, 2014, has also a provision for separate high courts for State of Telangana and State of Andhra Pradesh.
The High Court of Andhra Pradesh will be the 25th high court in the country and will initially function from a temporary structure till the permanent building comes up in the ambitious Justice City complex in the State’s capital Amaravati.