The Supreme Court will hear petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 on Monday, reported Live Law. A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat had adjourned the matter for October 31 last month.

At the last hearing on September 12, the Supreme Court had issued directions to segregate the batch of petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. The Supreme Court had said that the case will be referred to a three-judge bench.

The top court had also directed the Centre to file its response within four weeks after the pleas are segreagated.

More than 200 public interest litigations have been filed against the Act, which provides citizenship to refugees from six non-Muslim religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.

The petitioners have argued that the Act promotes religion-based discrimination and violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which deals with equality before the law.

The Act, however, is yet to be implemented as its rules have not been framed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In May, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the law will be enforced as soon as the pandemic ends.

The Centre has said that the citizenship law only seeks to provide relief to members of persecuted communities living in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

However, critics fear that the Citizenship Amendment Act, clubbed with the National Register of Citizens, will be misused to target Muslims in the country.

The National Register of Citizens is meant to be a list of legal Indian citizens. It was compiled after two draft versions and excluded 19 lakh applicants when it was published in Assam in August 2019.