New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court today will hear the 144 petitions challenging the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, demanding the withdrawal of the new legislation. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde will hear the petitions today.

The petitions challenging the Act asserted that the new legislation is illegal and is against the constitution of our country. The pleas also contend that the CAA is discriminatory and is against the Right to Equality as it seeks to grant citizenship on the basis of religion. Many petitions also sought a stay on the new act which came into force on January 10.  

The list of petitioners includes several political parties -- the chief of them being the Congress, the DMK, CPI, CPM, Indian Union Muslim League or IUML, Asaduddin Owasi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Kamal Hassan's Makkal Needhi Maiam.

The Supreme Court, on January 9, had refused to entertain a plea to declare the Citizenship Act as constitutional and said that the country is going through tough times and the endeavour right now should be to maintain peace. "This court's job is to determine the validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional," the bench -- which also includes Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant - said.

The top court has already issued a notice to the centre, seeking its response on the issue. The centre has requested some similar cases filed in high courts to be transferred to the Supreme Court.

The pleas challenging the law were filed in the backdrop of nationwide protests against the Citizenship Act. Many parts of the country are witnessing massive protests against the law. But the central government is standing firm on its decision and is continuously reiterating that the law will be implemented despite the opposition.

Speaking in Lucknow -- one of the epicentres of protests -- as part of the government's outreach to the people today, Amit Shah said, "Let me say this here and now, this law will not be withdrawn, no matter who protests... We are not scared of opposition, we were born in it."

The Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims religiously persecuted minorities from Afaghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who came to India and settled here before 2015. the minorities include, Hindu, Jain, Buddh, Sikh, Christian and Parsi.  

Posted By: Talib Khan