Refusing to stay the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday (December 18), issued a notice to the Centre and adjourned the hearing to January 22.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, orally instructed Attorney General KK Venugopal to get the details of the Act published in the media for the benefit of the public.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by the Asom Gana Parishad, a BJP ally; Congress leader Jairam Ramesh; and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha.
The country has been on the boil ever since the new law was passed by the government in Parliament on December 11. Sporadic protests erupted on university campuses, with the Jamia Millia University and Aligarh Muslim University being the staging point of students’ agitations.
Opposition parties across the country, right from the Left to the Congress, have sought a rollback of the law. The opposition says the law makes religion a condition for citizenship and it thereby violates the principle of secularism enshrined in the Constitution.
Under the new law, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014 would be granted citizenship.