The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday cancelled the citizenship of Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni for allegedly concealing facts about his visits abroad during the one-year period preceding his application for Indian citizenship, PTI reported.
This is second time Chennamaneni’s citizenship has been cancelled. Chennamaneni had first applied for Indian citizenship in 2009. The home ministry said he held German citizenship and did not fulfil the criteria for seeking Indian citizenship.
The MLA had challenged a home ministry order from 2017 rejecting his citizenship. Fresh orders were given after the High Court disposed of the case in July and referred it back to the government.
“His misrepresentation/concealment of fact misled the government of India in making its decision initially,” the ministry said in its 13-page order. “Had he revealed the fact that he had not resided in India for one year before making the application, the competent authority in this ministry would not have granted citizenship to him. Exercising its powers, the competent authority decided that Chennamaneni ceases to be a citizen of India”.
According to the Citizenship Act, a person who applies for an Indian citizenship should be present in India at least for 12 months before the date of application.
The ministry pointed that as a member of the legislative Assembly, he is part of “an august body that takes decisions affecting millions of citizens”. “His conduct shall stand as an example to the people whom he represents,” the order added.
Citing a Supreme Court verdict which observed that Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion, the order said Chennamaneni had greater responsibility as public representative to make fair submissions. “Any misrepresentation or concealment of fact at that level would certainly be not conducive to the public good,” the order said. Noting the MLA had no criminal background, the order said “absence of criminal charge doesn’t mean that person having inclination to misrepresent would be doing good”.
Chennamaneni, re-elected to Telangana Assembly from the Vemulawada constituency last year, said he would move the High Court again. He argued that the home ministry did not take the court orders into consideration while cancelling his citizenship, claiming the court had given him the option of approaching it again.
State Congress leader Adi Srinivas, who was defeated by Chennamaneni in the 2009 elections, had filed a complaint. He mentioned that Chennamaneni held a German passport and had gone to Germany within the stipulated period of 12 months before being granted Indian citizenship.
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