Supreme Court says No stay on Citizenship Act , to hear pleas on January 22

Supreme Court says No stay on Citizenship Act , to hear pleas on January 22

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to stay the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and will hear dozens of pleas dealing with the controversial naturalisation policy on January 22.

It has issued a notice to the central government about all 59 petitions.

Attorney General KK Venugopal said arguments on the stay of the Act would be as long as those on the challenge of the Act.

Advocate Rajiv Dhawan said there was no need for a stay since the law hadn't come into effect.

A lawyer from Assam said his state was "burning" and asked that the law be stayed, but Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said the court wouldn't hear the arguments today.

Critics of the citizenship law say it is anti-Muslim. The policy fast-tracks naturalisation for persecuted religious minorities from three Muslim countries but does not cover Muslims.

Protests against the legislation were particularly bitter in the Northeast -- where locals wish to preserve indigeneity -- and spread to campuses across India this week after alleged police excesses at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia campus.

The most recent outbreak of violence was reported yesterday in Seelampur, located in Northeast Delhi.

Protesters poured into the streets and attacked security personnel with pieces of brick in a haze of tear gas.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to have the citizenship law withdrawn.