A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah stated that they were not inclined to interfere in the interim order which was first passed on August 4 by a three-judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, comprising Justices Rakesh Kumar, AV Seshasai & M Satyanarayana Murthy and was then extended on August 14, till August 27.
Court stated that it was not inclined to interfere in the case and that should be heard by the High Court itself as day-to-day hearings have already been fixed. Court also observed that the matter required an "early decision".
Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi appearing for Petitioner contended that the vacation of stay was imperative as it had brought the entire exercise to a "standstill".
"There are preparations to be done. Preparatory steps have to be taken and it has been unknown for the judiciary to decide where the executive will function from" Dwivedi added.
Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar stated that the matter was already fixed for day-to-day hearing tomorrow onwards and no vacation of stay was called for.
Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman submitted that it was imperative that the presidential order, providing for the judicial seat at Amravati subsist.
On August 4, while granting a stay on the three-state-law, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had also granted the State Government a period of 10 days to file a counter affidavit in a writ petition moved by a group of farmers challenging the constitutional validity of two Government Legislations, to repeal the AP Capital Region Development Authority and a Decentralisation Act which trifurcates the State Capital.
The special leave petition filed by Advocate Mahfooz Nazki, contended that the High Court Order effectively staying implementation of Gazetted Notifications (the Governor had given his assent on July 31) is without valid reasons and bad in law.
The State further cites various precedents to buttress their argument that the High Court Order defies principles of law whereby the constitutionality of a statute is presumed to be upheld until proven otherwise.
"By virtue of the Impugned Order, the Hon'ble High Court has directed the State Government to maintain status quo in respect of the Impugned Legislations which, in essence, amounts to a stay of the Impugned Legislations.
…The Impugned Order is therefore completely contrary to the well settled principle of law that there is always a strong presumption in favour of constitutionality of a Statute and the burden is on the person who attacks it to show that there has been a transgression of constitutional principles, beyond reasonable doubt...
…The course of action embarked upon by the Hon'ble High Court in staying the Impugned Legislations without rendering any finding of them being ex facie unconstitutional is contrary to the ratio laid down by this Hon'ble Court…", contends the Andhra Pradesh Government.
Earlier, CJI SA Bobde and Justice RF Nariman had both, on separate occasions recused themselves from hearing the matter.
CJI SA Bobde, on August 17, decided that he could not hear that matter on account of his daughter having appeared for one of the parties during proceedings before the High Court.
The CJI, on that day, had stated that the matter would be taken up by a fresh Bench on August 19, and consequently the Special Leave Petition came up for consideration before a Bench comprising of Justices Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee.
Notably, Justice Nariman's father, Senior Advocate Fali S. Nariman, is representing the group of farmers, in whose petition the Andhra Pradesh High Court passed the Order which is being challenged before the Top Court. Therefore, with knowledge that Fali Nariman was the counsel for the petitioners in the High Court, and respondents in the Supreme Court, Justice Nariman was quick to recuse himself as soon as the case was called out on August 19.
The SLP thus came before the current Bench.