Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Only Parliament Can Decide New Social Relationship, Centre Says Opposing Same Sex Marriage

The centre argued that only the Parliament may decide whether to establish a new social connection, and today it opposed the Supreme Court’s hearing of claims for legal approval of same-sex weddings.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta spoke on behalf of the centre, stating that those in attendance do not speak for the country as a whole and that the court must first determine whether it is even qualified to hear this case.

His comments were made in front of a five-judge Constitution bench, chaired by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, who was hearing the requests, which the centre yesterday referred to as “mere urban elitist views.” Justices SK Kaul, Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha are also on the bench.

The chief law officer said that the parliament is the sole body with constitutional authority to decide whether to establish a new social relationship. He stated that “we are still debating whether it is for courts to decide on its own.”

The Chief Justice stated that the court cannot be instructed on how to rule in this matter and that it want to hear from the petitioners. The Special Marriage Act must be the primary topic of discussion, he stressed, and personal marriage laws must be avoided. Up until Thursday, the court will continue to hear the petitioners’ claims.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued for individuals seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages, saying that the earlier court judgements and the judgement decriminalising homosexuality should be taken into consideration.

When the CJI inquired about their demands, Mr. Rohtagi requested that “spouse” be used in place of “man and woman” in the Special Marriage Act. He contended that the idea of marriage had evolved. “Since marriage is a valued institution in society, we value and desire it. The Domestic Violence Act now permits even live-in couples, according to Mr. Rohatgi.

“We are asking for a certification that we are eligible to wed. The state will acknowledge that right as protected by the Special Marriage Act, and it will also recognise the marriage following this court’s declaration. This is due to the fact that we are still stigmatised, even when we walk and hold hands. This is even after the Article 377 ruling, Mr. Rohatgi continued.

After Mr. Mehta claimed that the Special Marriage Act’s goal was for a partnership between a “biological male and biological female,” Chief Justice Chandrachud stated that “there is no absolute concept of a man or an absolute concept of a woman at all.” “It’s not a matter of what your genitalia look like. That’s the point: it’s a lot more complicated. Therefore, even if the Special Marriage Act refers to a man and a woman, this does not mean that the concept of a man and a woman is solely dependent on genitalia, the Chief Justice noted.

It’s a matter of a person’s rights, according to petitioners’ advocate Menaka Guruswamy. Marriage is a right-based issue. I cannot let my partner know that I have life insurance. I am unable to purchase insurance for my family through the Supreme Court Bar Association, she stated.

A court judgement recognising same-sex marriage, according to the center’s submission from yesterday, would amount to a virtual judicial rewriting of a whole body of law. Additionally, it had stated that the court should not issue “omnibus orders”.

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