The Telangana High Court on Friday issued an interim stay on the Centre’s order cancelling the citizenship of Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni, PTI reported. The legislator had on Thursday requested the court to suspend all proceedings related to the cancellation order till it disposes of his plea.

Y Ramarao, who represented the legislator, argued that a person can be deprived of citizenship only if his behaviour is “not conducive to the public good”. Justice Challa Kondanda Ram then posted the case for further hearing to December 16. Chennamaneni later told reporters that he was happy with the court’s order.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs cancelled had Chennamaneni’s citizenship for allegedly concealing facts about his visits abroad during the one-year period preceding his application. According to the Citizenship Act, a person who applies for Indian citizenship should be present in India at least for 12 months before the date of application.

The action was based on a complaint by state Congress leader Adi Srinivas, who was defeated by Chennamaneni in the 2009 elections. He had said that Chennamaneni held a German passport and had gone to Germany within the stipulated period of 12 months before being granted Indian citizenship.

This is the 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 fulfill 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.

Chennamaneni, re-elected to Telangana Assembly from the Vemulawada constituency last year, 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.