The Supreme Court on 18 December refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. However, the bench stated that it will examine if there was a need to put stay on the newly amended law.
The bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Surya Kant issued a notice to the Central Government seeking their response to all the petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Act. The court further stated that it will hear the pleas on 22 January 2020.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 grants citizenship to the non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who were expelled on the grounds of religion. Additionally, the Act exempts them from the definition of illegal migrants mentioned under Section 2(1)(b) of the Act.
As soon as the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and it attained presidential consent, many petitions were filled in the Supreme Court, challenging the Amendment.
The petitioners state that the Act is “discriminatory and manifestly arbitrary” and violates the fundamental rights, including that of equality before the law, and the basic structure of the Constitution.