The Supreme Court is expected to deliver the much-awaited judgment on a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages in India this month. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha had reserved judgment on the matter on May 11. As Justice Bhat is set to retire on October 20, the judgment is expected to be delivered soon.
Though homosexuality was decriminalised in 2018, same-sex marriages continue to be unacknowledged and unrecognised by Indian laws. Over the course of 10 days of hearing, both the Government of India and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposed any recognition to same-sex marriages.
In line with previous submissions on same-sex marriages, the BJP-led Union government in an affidavit in the Supreme Court opposed the pleas, stating that while same-sex unions or non-heterosexual marriags are not unlawful, there is no recognition nor legitimacy despite decriminalisation of homosexuality in 2018.
The lead petitioners, Supriya Chakraborty and Abhay Dange, argued that the non-recognition of same-sex marriage causes discrimination and denies the couples as citizens of the country.
However, the Centre was firm on its stance of vehemently opposing marriage equality, invoking the “accepted view” of marriage between a biological man and biological woman, even as the five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud countered the notion saying there was no “absolute” concept of gender.
Meanwhile, a significant development that took place was the willingness of the Union Government to consider if certain rights can be conferred upon same-sex couples short of legal recognition as marriage, so as to ensure that same-sex couples have access to welfare measures and social security.
According to a report by LiveLaw, as Justic Bhat is set to retire on October 20, the judgement on marriage equality is expected to come out soon.