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SC Notice to Centre on Pleas to Legalise Same-sex Marriages After 2 Gay Couples Move Court

Rather than the judiciary wanting the continuance of the ‘Collegium system’, which the government says is incestuous and opaque, and the Centre wanting to revive something similar to the National Judicial Services Commission Act that the SC struck down, there can be a via media, writes Murthy. (Reuters/File)

A Supreme Court Bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud has sought response from the central government in this regard and asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider the please regarding providing legal recognition to same sexy marriages and issued notice to Centre in this regard. The notice was issued on two pleas by gay couples seeking a direction that their marriage be recognised under the special marriage law.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli heard the brief submissions of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi before issuing the notices on the pleas. A bench sought response from the central government in the matter and asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks.

The top court has asked Attorney General of India to assist the court.

The decision by the Supreme Court to consider the matter comes after a new petition was has been filed before it by a gay couple from Hyderabad, seeking recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

The petitioners Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, have reportedly been a couple for almost 10 years. The two decided to have a wedding-cum-commitment ceremony on the 9th anniversary to celebrate their relationship, a livelaw.in report said. They had a commitment ceremony in December 2021, where their relationship was blessed by their parents, family and friends, the report added.

The petitioners submitted that the Special Marriage Act is Ultra vires the Constitution of India to the extent it discriminates between same sex couples and opposite sex couples denying same-sex couples both legal rights as well the social recognition and status that flow from marriage.

The second plea was filed by gay couple Parth Phiroze Mehrotra and Uday Raj.

The plea said that non-recognition of same-sex marriages is violative of right to equality and right to life under articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court in 2018 had unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex.

(With PTI inputs)

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