NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday postponed hearing pleas challenging the constitutionality of a new citizenship law that has sparked opposition and massive protests across the country. The court said it would consider the pleas on Jan. 22.

Protests and widespread condemnation have been growing against the Citizenship Amendment Act, with demonstrations erupting in India over the last week.

The new law applies to Hindus, Christians and other religious minorities who are in India illegally but can demonstrate religious persecution in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It does not apply to Muslims.

Critics say the new law is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist-led government's agenda to marginalize India's 200 million Muslims and goes against the spirit of the country's secular constitution. Modi has defended it as a humanitarian gesture.

University students across India have been leading a campaign to have the law overturned.