Big Day Today As Supreme Court's Decision On Same-Sex Marriage To Be Pronounced
New Delhi, October 17 (TNA) A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud which heard the demand for gay marriage will deliver its verdict on the petitions demanding legal status for same-sex marriage today. On May 11, after 10 days of hearing, the court had reserved its decision.
In the hearing, the petitioners insisted that their marriage be legally recognized whereas the central government had said that it could consider giving some rights to gay couples without giving them the status of marriage.
Who are the petitioners?
Those who filed the petition in the Supreme Court include gay couple Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, Parth Firoz Mehrotra and Uday Raj Anand and many others. Most of the more than 20 petitions have demanded legal recognition of gay marriage. It has been said in the petitions that inter-religious and inter-caste marriages are protected in the Special Marriage Act but gay couples have been discriminated against.
Made the basis of 2018 decision
In 2018, the Supreme Court had decriminalized homosexual sex between two adults with mutual consent. Then the court had repealed a part of Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalized homosexuality. After this, the demand to give legal status to gay marriage started gaining momentum. Finally, last year the matter reached the Supreme Court.
This year, a Constitution bench of 5 judges headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud heard this issue these days. The remaining 4 members of the bench are – Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, PS Narasimha and Hima Kohli.
The main arguments of the petitioners
The petitioners have argued for recognition of gay marriage in many countries of the world. He has also said that gay couples do not have any legal rights in India. Since they are not husband and wife in the eyes of law, they cannot open a bank account together, cannot make their partner a nominee in their PF or pension. These problems will be solved only when their marriage gets legal recognition.
'Solution found under Special Marriage Act'
It was also said on behalf of the petitioners that the entire problem could be solved by a simple interpretation of Section 4 of the Special Marriage Act, which allows marriage between people of different religions and castes. It is written in Section 4 that two people can marry each other. The Supreme Court should make it clear that 2 people does not only mean man and woman, it also includes homosexuals.
Center opposed the demand
On behalf of the Central Government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that Indian society and its beliefs do not consider gay marriage right. The court should also listen to the voice of a large section of the society. The Solicitor General also said that making laws or making changes in them comes under the jurisdiction of Parliament.
Some people sitting in the court should not take such a big decision which will bring permanent change on the society. The Supreme Court cannot recognize the new institution of marriage on its own behalf. The government also said that after marriage is recognized, same-sex couples will also seek to adopt a child. The mental state of the child who grows up in such a couple should also be considered.
Many laws will be affected
The Solicitor General also said that the issue of gay marriage is not so simple. Just making minor changes in the Special Marriage Act will not help. Recognition of gay marriage will give rise to many legal complications. 160 other laws will also be affected by this. In these laws related to family and family issues, place has been given to man as husband and woman as wife.
After listening to the arguments of the Central Government, the judges agreed that this subject falls within the jurisdiction of Parliament. He had also said that giving legal status to gay marriage would lead to many complications. The judges had asked the government whether the human problems that same-sex couples continue to face can be solved?
Just as the Government has made Transgender Act for the eunuch category, can any special arrangement be made for homosexuals also? Such a system where even without giving legal status to their marriage, they can be given social security and can be given some rights.
Government ready to give legal rights
Responding to the court's question, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that without giving legal status to gay marriage, the central government will consider giving some rights to such couples. For this, a high level committee will be formed under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary.