- The Supreme Court on Friday transferred to itself petitions pending in various High Courts seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
- A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said there was broad consensus among the petitioners to shift the cases to the Supreme Court for an authoritative ruling on the issue, especially on the question whether same-sex marriage should be brought within the ambit of the Special Marriage Act of 1954.
- Batches of petitions were pending before the Delhi, Kerala and Gujarat High Courts. The Bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, directed the Centre to file its response to the petitions on or before February 15.
- The court listed the case for directions on March 13.
SC to hear all petitions on same-sex marriage
- The Bench asked the parties to submit common compilations of arguments and judgments they want to place before the court during arguments for speedy and efficient adjudication. It appointed advocates Arundhati Katju, for the petitioners, and advocate Kanu Agarwal, for the Union, as nodal counsel to coordinate the preparations for the court hearing.
- One of the petitions filed by Supriya Chakraborty and Abhay Dang said the non-recognition of same-sex marriage amounted to discrimination that struck at the root of dignity and self-fulfilment of LGBTQ+ couples. A separate petition was also filed by ParthPhiroze Mehrotra and Uday Raj Anand.
- The court issued notice in a separate petition filed by Utkarsh Saxena and Ananya Kotia challenging the mandatory requirement to issue public notice and objection to marriage contemplated under the Special Marriage Act and the Foreign Marriage Act. They argued that the provisions expose same-sex couples to the risks of ostracism, persecution, and violence.
- The petitioners had argued that the case was a sequel to the 2018 Constitution Bench judgment in the NavtejJohar case in which homosexuality was de-criminalised. The petitioners said the 1954 Act should be made gender-neutral.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB