Andhra Pradesh High Court Halts Unilateral Demolition of YSRCP Offices

In a significant ruling that came as a relief to the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed the state government not to proceed with the demolition of the party’s offices without clear justification. The court emphasized that such actions should only occur if the constructions were against public interest or caused public nuisance.

This directive followed a series of petitions filed by YSRCP challenging the state government’s notices regarding the demolition of its offices across various locations. The court critically noted that if any deviations from approved construction plans were minor and did not significantly impact the public, the government should refrain from demolishing these properties.

“The power of demolition should not be wielded unless it is necessary to protect the overwhelming public interest,” the court declared, setting a high threshold for any government-initiated demolitions of the opposition party’s offices.

Furthermore, the court instructed state authorities to adhere to legal procedures and allowed YSRCP a fortnight to submit necessary documents, explanations, and proofs concerning the construction of its district offices. It stressed the importance of providing the party a fair opportunity to be heard and mandated that no coercive actions should be taken during the investigation of these constructions.

The controversy has intensified political tensions in Andhra Pradesh, especially following the partial demolition of YSRCP’s central office in Tadepalli and the issuance of notices to its district offices, which are in various stages of construction. The current TDP-led government, which also includes BJP and Janasena members, has labeled 18 of these offices as “totally unauthorized buildings,” a claim that has added fuel to the ongoing dispute.

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IT Minister Nara Lokesh has estimated the value of these controversial offices at approximately Rs 2,000 crore, highlighting the significant economic implications of the legal and political confrontation.

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