The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will hear pleas challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) after arguments in the Sabarimala matter are over. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said this after senior advocate Kapil Sibal sought urgent hearing of CAA matters and said that to date, the Centre has not filed a reply in the matter.

Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant that the Centre would be filing a reply in a few days. A nine-judge bench is re-examining various religious issues, including the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple and mosques, and the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.

There are at least 143 petitions before the court against the citizenship law including that from the United Nations Human Rights chief. The petitions challenge that CAA stands against the basic structure of the secular Constitution by using religion as the basis for citizenship and hence is illegal.

The controversial bill which was passed by both houses of the parliament in December last year has given rise to protests across the nation. The deadly Delhi riots which rocked the national capital last month were also due to anti-CAA protests.