The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to relief for the Andhra Pradesh government, after the state appealed against the High Court’s status quo order on its two laws to form three capital cities, PTI reported.

The laws put on hold by the High Court would allow the ruling government led by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy to form three capitals an executive capital in Visakhapatnam, a legislative capital in Amaravati and a judicial capital in Kurnool.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said it cannot interfere in the matter as it was already pending before the High Court and will be taken it up on Thursday, Hindustan Times reported.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, representing the Andhra Pradesh government, said that the judiciary cannot decide on the location from where the executive would function. “This [status quo order] has brought the whole thing to a standstill,” Dwivedi said. “There are preparations to be done. Preparatory steps have to be taken. It has never happened that the judiciary has decided where the executive will function from.”

Senior counsel Fali S Nariman, appearing for the farmers of Amaravati, argued that the state capital was formed on a presidential order. Hence, the state government could not make the judicial capital at Kurnool, he added. Farmers in Amaravati had given up their land for the capital to be developed there.

The Andhra Pradesh government was arguing that the High Court had without any valid reasons on August 4 stayed the implementation of gazette notifications on the formation of three capitals for decentralised development and the abolition of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority.

The Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation And Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Act, 2020, were notified on July 31.

Over 55 public interest litigation petitions have been filed challenging the legislation.