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NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to all petitioners who have moved different high courts challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeking their views on the Centre’s plea to transfer their petitions to the top court.

The matter is likely to be heard on 22 January.

On Wednesday, the Centre, through solicitor general Tushar Mehta, told the court that there could be confusion if high courts drew different conclusions regarding the Act.

“We are of the prima facie view that high courts should hear petitions challenging the CAA and, in case there is a conflict, then we may look into it," the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said when the matter was mentioned.

The controversy over the citizenship legislation reached the Supreme Court on 18 December. Subsequently, the court issued a notice to the Centre on a batch of 59 petitions challenging the validity of the CAA.

The court, however, refused to grant an interim stay on the new law.

Petitioners challenging the law include Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress lawmaker Mahua Moitra, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Peace Party, non-governmental organisations Rihai Manch and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M.L. Sharma, and law students.‬

“The impugned Act creates two classifications, a classification on the basis of religion and a classification on the basis of geography, and both classifications are completely unreasonable and share no rational nexus to the object of the impugned Act," contended the petition filed by Ramesh.‬

The petitioners have alleged that the Act discriminates between Muslim migrants and those of six specified faiths from the neighbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, between migrants from these three countries and those from others, between those who migrated because of religious persecution and others, and between illegal migrants who entered India before 31 December 2014, and those who entered the country later.

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