New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the central and Assam governments on a petition challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.
The top court asked the Centre and the state government to respond within four weeks.
It was hearing a plea filed by Assam State Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind challenging the Union Home Ministry's notifications in the matter.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.
On February 13, the Bill lapsed in the Rajya Sabha, amid protests by members of several Opposition parties.
The proposed amendment in the Bill will make these persecuted migrants eligible to apply for citizenship. Under the proposed amendment, the minimum residency period for citizenship is being reduced from the existing 12 years under the present law to seven years.
However, citizenship will be given to them only after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authorities and the state government.
Several organisations have staged massive protests over the Bill, asserting that the legislation will create law and order problems in the North East.