Hyderabad: High Court pulls up Centre for not obtaining clarification from German consulate

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The High Court bench on Thursday dealt with a writ petition filed by Vemulawada MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh, seeking to set aside the order passed by Ministry of Home Affairs through which he was declared as not a citizen of India on the ground that he has German citizenship.

Hyderabad: The High Court bench on Thursday dealt with a writ petition filed by Vemulawada MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh, seeking to set aside the order passed by Ministry of Home Affairs through which he was declared as not a citizen of India on the ground that he has German citizenship.

Namavarapu Rajeshwar Rao, Assistant Solicitor General of India for the State of Telangana, has informed the court that the Indian Embassy in Germany has clarified that the petitioner was holding the citizenship of Germany.

Y Rama Rao, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that as per the direction of the court in the writ plea, the Union of India has to produce the letter from the German consulate clarifying the citizenship of the petitioner, not from the Indian Embassy. If the German Embassy clarifies that the petitioner was holding the citizenship of Germany, then he would be out of the court, Rama Rao added. He further submitted that holding of German passport would not make the petitioner a citizen of Germany as per the Indian Citizenship Act.

Ravi Kiran Rao, Designated Senior Counsel, appearing for complainant Adi Srinivas has submitted that the petitioner himself filed an application before the Indian Embassy in Berlin of Germany seeking for an Overseas Citizen of India Card (OCI card) to travel India without visa, informing that he was residing in Germany since 2013. It itself was enough to declare that he was a citizen of Germany, the complainant contended. He further submitted to the court that the petitioner holds a German passport and has been traveling to Germany with it.

When the Judge asked the ASG as to why the Indian government had not obtained the clarification from the German consulate, the ASG informed the court that the German consulate had refused to furnish the information sought by the Indian government stating that it can't disclose such information in compliance of the prevailing laws of the country.

The judge, while turning towards the ASG, observed that the case was pending in the High Court since 2009 and it was crossing 13 years and asked them to act faster. The judge further asked Senior Counsel Ravi Kiran Rao to verify the possibility of impleading the German consulate as the respondent party. The High Court bench adjourned the matter to August 24 since there was the end of pre-lunch session.

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