The Central government on Wednesday informed the Telangana High Court that ruling TRS MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni is a German citizen and holds a passport of that country. The legislator from Vemulawada constituency had earlier filed a petition in the court challenging the Union Home Ministry's order holding that he is not a citizen of India.
The high court had last month directed the Centre to get information through the Indian Embassy in Germany whether Ramesh is holding German passport/citizenship or not. The MLA was also asked to file an affidavit disclosing and enclosing the details related to surrendering of his German passport along with proof of giving up his German citizenship.
When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) through a memo along with relevant documents informed the court that Ramesh is a German citizen as on today and his German passport is due for renewal in 2023. Justice Challa Kodanda Ram then directed the ASG to file an affidavit in this regard and adjourned the matter to January 20 for further hearing.
Ramesh is in a prolonged legal battle over his citizenship issue. He was elected thrice to assembly, including in a bypoll. In 2013, the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed his election after a political rival approached it contending that he held a German passport.
Chennamaneni then approached the Supreme Court and obtained a stay. While the stay order was in operation, he contested the assembly elections in 2014 and 2018 and had won.
The Union Home Ministry last year issued a fresh order cancelling his Indian citizenship on the ground that he concealed facts while applying for it. There is no provision for dual citizenship in India. As per the Representation of the People Act, no person who is not an Indian citizen is eligible to contest or vote in any election.