Home / News / India /  Same-sex marriage to be legal in India? What Supreme Court said while hearing plea

The Supreme Court of India on heard the arguments on the plea seeking legal validation of same-sex marriages in India. The apex court posted the plea for arguments on 18 April.

The Supreme Court noted that legalising same sex marriage in India is a ‘seminal Issue’ and noted that a constitution bench of five judges would further make a decision on the plea. The court also informed that the proceedings before five-judge bench on same-sex marriage will be live-streamed.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala observed this order. 

“Issue concerning same-sex marriages is of seminal importance and needs to be adjudicated upon by five-judge bench." the Supreme Court said on Monday. 

During the hearing the Indian Government had urged the apex court not to cut short arguments of either side on issue of same-sex marriage, says verdict will affect society as a whole.

The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre has opposed in the Supreme Court a batch of pleas seeking legal validation of same-sex marriage, saying it would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws and accepted societal values.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the government submitted that despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday the government does "not disturb" the personal freedom and activities of individuals but the issue related to the institution of marriage was a matter of policy.

The petitioners have cited that right to marry cannot be withheld from a section of people based solely on their sexual orientation. The batch of petitions challenge the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, Foreign Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act to the extent they do not recognize same-sex marriages.

The case is being seen as a milestone event for LGBT rights in the country. India's top court decriminalised homosexuality in 2018 by scrapping a colonial-era ban on gay sex.

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