The Ministry of Home Affairs has revoked the Indian citizenship of Telangana MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni saying the legislator concealed crucial facts and obtained the citizenship by fraud.
On Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni's citizenship, the MHA noted in a fresh order on Wednesday, "It is not conducive to the public good that Dr Ramesh Chennamaneni continues to be a citizen of India under Section 10 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 decides that Dr Ramesh Chennamaneni ceases to be a Citizen of India."
The government said Chennamaneni had German citizenship and did not fulfil the criteria for seeking Indian citizenship in 2009. A complaint was filed against him by Congress leader A Srinivas challenging his election as a legislator.
The order was issued in relation to his visits during the 12-month period immediately preceding his application seeking Indian citizenship.
In its 13-page order, the ministry said the competent authority has considered various aspects like Chennamaneni is a sitting MLA and has no criminal background or no criminal case has been filed against him. He has not been reportedly involved in any acts of terrorism, espionage, serious organised crime or a war crime, it said.
"His misrepresentation/concealment of fact misled the government of India in making its decision initially. 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," a home ministry order said.
Why did the Centre cancel Chennamaneni's citizenship
Chennamaneni, who was re-elected to Telangana Assembly from the Vemulawada constituency last year, said he would approach the high court for relief.
The order said as a public representative, greater responsibility is thrust on Chennamaneni to be fair in making his submissions.
"His conduct shall stand as an example to the people whom he represents," the order said. It said as a member of the esteemed Legislative Assembly, he is part of the august body which takes decisions affecting the fate of millions of citizens.
"Any misrepresentation or concealment of fact at that level would certainly be not conducive to the public good," the order said and quoted a Supreme Court order stating "...It is a well-known canon of law that 'Caesar's wife should be above suspicion'"
The ministry reasoned that if the action was not taken against the MLA, it would become a precedent and many more such persons may obtain Indian citizenship by concealing the material facts and by the misleading government of India.
What has Chennamaneni said
Reacting to the order, Chennamaneni said, the high court earlier gave a positive decision.
"But, the Home Ministry did not consider that and again cancelled (citizenship). So, we will approach High Court again for safeguarding citizenship," he said, claiming the court gave him the option of approaching it again in case he failed to get a favourable decision from the ministry.
The Union government had cancelled Ramesh's citizenship on December 13, 2017, but Ramesh approached the high court which directed MHA a to re-examine.