SC on same-sex marriages: The Supreme Court is set to hear a number of petitions seeking legal validation of same-sex marriages on Monday, March 13. The pleas are scheduled for consideration before a bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, according to the cause list posted on the website of the supreme court.
Earlier on January 6, the top court transferred to itself all such applications that were pending before various high courts, including the Delhi High Court.
It had stated that the petitioners’ attorney, Arundhati Katju, and the Center’s legal representative should work together to compile all written submissions, supporting documentation, and legal precedents that will be used during the hearing.
“Soft copies of the compilations shall be exchanged between the parties and shall be made available to the court. List the petition along with connected petitions and transferred cases on March 13, 2023, for directions,” the bench had said in its January 6 order.
Petitioners’ counsel demanded all cases be transferred to SC
The counsel for multiple petitioners had told the bench that they want the apex court to transfer all the cases to itself for an authoritative pronouncement on the issue and that the Centre can file its response in the top court.
On December 14 last year, the apex court had sought the Centre’s response to two pleas seeking a transfer of the petitions pending in the Delhi High Court for directions to recognise same-sex marriages to itself.
Prior to that, on November 25 last year, the apex court had sought the Centre’s response to separate pleas moved by two gay couples seeking enforcement of their right to marry and a direction to the authorities concerned to register their marriages under the Special Marriage Act.
SC decriminalised consensual gay sex in 2018
A bench headed by CJI Chandrachud, who was also part of the Constitution bench that in 2018 decriminalised consensual gay sex, issued a notice to the Centre in November last year, besides seeking Attorney General R Venkataramani’s assistance in dealing with the pleas.
In a path-breaking unanimous verdict delivered on September 6, 2018, the top court’s five-judge Constitution bench held that consensual sex among adult homosexuals or heterosexuals in a private space is not a crime while striking down a part of the British-era penal law that criminalised it on the ground that it violated the constitutional right to equality and dignity.
(With PTI inputs)
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