The Supreme Court on Tuesday told lawyers for contesting parties in a case pertaining to an amendment to the citizenship law to decide on the matters that need to be adjudicated, PTI reported.

A Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud was hearing a group of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, a special provision that deals with the citizenship of those covered by the Assam Accord of 1985.

The Assam Accord is an agreement between the Centre, the state government and organisations that led protests seeking the deportation of foreigners. Section 6A, which was inserted in the Citizenship Act in 1985, states that those who came to Assam from Bangladesh from January 1, 1966 to March 25, 1971 have to register themselves for Indian citizenship under Section 18 of the Act.

Seventeen petitions challenging the provision are pending before the Supreme Court.

One of the petitioners, the Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, has contended that Section 6A is discriminatory and arbitrary as it provides different cut-off dates for granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants who entered Assam and those who entered the rest of the country, according to Live Law.

On Tuesday, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners, told the court that the parties to the case had decided to sit together and identify the matters that needed to be heard in connection with the case.

“The counsel would segregate the cases which fall for decision before this court into distinct categories and the order in which the arguments are to be made,” the court noted in its order. “We will keep it for directions.”

The case will be heard next on January 10, 2023.