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MHA Cancels Telangana MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh's Citizenship for 'Misrepresenting Facts'

Ramesh, who was re-elected to the Telangana Assembly from Vemulawada constituency last year, said he would approach the high court for relief.

PV Ramana Kumar | News18

Updated:November 20, 2019, 11:10 PM IST
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MHA Cancels Telangana MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh's Citizenship for 'Misrepresenting Facts'
File photo of Chennamaneni Ramesh.

Hyderabad: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday cancelled Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh’s citizenship for concealing facts about his visits abroad during the 12-month period immediately preceding his application seeking Indian citizenship.

"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 ministry order said.

It said the competent authority is "satisfied that it is not conducive to public good that Chennamaneni continues to be a citizen of India" and, therefore, decided that he "ceases" to be a citizen of the country.

Ramesh, who was re-elected to the Telangana Assembly from Vemulawada constituency last year, said he would approach the high court for relief.

In its 13-page order, the ministry said the competent authority has considered various aspects, such as Chennamaneni being a sitting MLA and the absence of a criminal background and the fact that no criminal case has been filed against him. He has not been reportedly involved in any activity of terrorism, espionage, serious organised crime or 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," the order said.

The order said as a public representative, greater responsibility is thrust on Ramesh to be fair in making his submissions. "His conduct shall stand as an example to the people whom he represents," it said, adding that as a member of the esteemed Legislative Assembly, he is part of the august body that 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. It quoted a Supreme Court order as saying, "It is a well-known canon of law that 'Caesar's wife should be above suspicion'."

The ministry reasoned that if 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 misleading the government of India.

The order said the competent authority "is satisfied that it is not conducive to the public good that Dr Ramesh Chennamaneni continues to be a citizen of India".

Exercising its powers, the competent authority decided that Ramesh "ceases to be a citizen of India".

Reacting to the order, Ramesh said the high court had earlier given a positive decision.

"But the Home Ministry did not consider that and again cancelled it (citizenship). So, we will approach the High Court again to safeguard my citizenship," he said, claiming the court had given him the option of approaching it again in case he failed to get a favourable decision from the ministry.

(With PTI inputs)

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