Telangana Rashtra Samithi lawmaker Chennamaneni Ramesh is a German citizen and holds a passport of that country, the Union home ministry told the Telangana high court on Thursday.
The ministry of home affairs submitted an affidavit to this effect, as per the earlier directions of the court. In December, too, the ministry brought to the notice of the high court in the form of a memo that Ramesh was holding a German citizenship.
However, the high court directed the ministry to submit the details in the form of an affidavit along with the details obtained from Germany through Indian embassy that proved the MLA’s German citizenship.
Ramesh, who has been representing Vemulawada assembly constituency in Rajanna Siricilla district for the last three terms, is the nephew of former Maharashtra governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by Congress leader Adi Srinivas, who had contested elections against Ramesh in Vemulawada. Srinivas contended that Ramesh had obtained the Indian Citizenship by fraudulent means hiding his German citizenship.
In November 2019, the ministry of home affairs cancelled the Indian citizenship of Ramesh on the grounds that he had held citizenship of Germany and had not fulfilled the stipulated norms while obtaining the Indian citizenship in 2009.
Ramesh had gone to Germany for employment in the early 1990s and obtained German Citizenship in 1993, when he surrendered his Indian passport. In 2008, he returned to India and applied for Indian citizenship which was granted to him by the MHA. He won the election from Vemulawada assembly constituency in 2009 elections.
As per 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. But Adi Srinivas lodged a complaint with the MHA stating that Ramesh still held the German passport and had gone to Germany within this stipulated period of 12 months before being granted Indian citizenship.
A committee appointed by the ministry concluded that Ramesh had obtained the Indian citizenship “by playing fraud upon the Government of India and concealing crucial material facts of his visits abroad during the last twelve months immediately preceding his application for Indian citizenship”.
In September 2017, the MHA cancelled the citizenship of Ramesh. However, he filed a review petition in the MHA and later moved the high court and obtained the stay order. Subsequently, he contested the assembly elections again in December 2018 and got elected from the same constituency for the third successive term.
The high court, which disposed of the case in July 1999, referred the matter to MHA again. After conducting the due enquiry, the MHA issued the orders again, cancelling his citizenship. Ramesh once again moved the high court and obtained a stay order.
Ramesh could not be reached for comment.