Delhi HC defers hearing on batch of petitions for legal recognition of same-sex marriage to April
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday was informed by the counsel of petitioners that the Supreme Court has recently agreed to examine the pleas for legal recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act and also issued a notice to the Centre on the petition.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday was informed by the counsel of petitioners that the Supreme Court has recently agreed to examine the pleas for legal recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act and has also issued a notice to the Centre on the petition. The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad after noting the submissions made by Senior Advocate Saurabh Kripal deferred these matters for April 2023.
Recently Supreme Court's bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli also noted that various pleas relating to same-sex marriage issues are being heard in various High Courts including Kerala and Delhi. The top court also noted that the Centre made a statement before HC that the ministry was taking steps to transfer all pleas to the Supreme Court.
Appearing for one of the petitioners, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that they are not touching any religion and are only seeking recognition under the Special Marriage Act. One of the petitions also raised the absence of a legal framework which allowed members of the LGBTQ+ community to marry any person of their choice.
According to the petition, the couple sought to enforce the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to marry any person of their choice and said that, "the exercise of which ought to be insulated from the disdain of legislative and popular majorities." The petitioners, further, asserted their fundamental right to marry each other and prayed for appropriate directions from this Court allowing and enabling them to do so.
The Public Interest Litigation was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by the petitioners and was in the interest of the LGBTQ+ community. The petitioners, who are both members of the LGBTQ+ community, submitted that the right to marry a person of one's choice is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of India to each "person" and has been recognized explicitly by this Court.
They stressed that the top court has also expressly held that members of the LGBTQ+ community have the same human, fundamental and constitutional rights as other citizens. However, the legal framework governing the institution of marriage in this country does not presently allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to marry the person of their choice and enforce the fundamental right which has been guaranteed to them under our Constitution.
The petitioners submit that this is violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution, including Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(a) and 21. The present petition has been filed by the petitioners to assert for themselves, and for all members of the LGTBQ+ community, the fundamental right to many any person of their choice, irrespective of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The petitioners said that they have been in love with each other and have had a relationship with each other for the last seventeen years and are presently raising two children together, but unfortunately the fact that they cannot legally solemnize their marriage has resulted in a situation where both petitioners cannot have a legal relationship between parents and children with both of their kids. (ANI)
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