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HC adjourns plea seeking recognition of same-sex marriage under Hindu Marriage Act

  • The plea states that Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956 does not distinguish between Homosexual and Heterosexual couples so there shouldn’t be any bar for same sex marriages to be recognised under the Act

NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a writ petition seeking recognition of same-sex couples under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956. The court sought details of people from the petitioners who are aggrieved by non-registration of same sex marriage under Act. The matter will next be heard on 21 October.

As per the petition, despite the Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality, same sex marriage is still not being allowed under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre said that the petition is not maintainable and argued that our culture and law doesn't recognise the concept of same-sex marriages.

“The prayer if granted would run contrary to statutory provisions which are already in place," he added.

“This is despite the fact that the said Act does not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual marriage if one were to go by how it has been worded. It very clearly states that marriage can indeed be solemnised between 'any two Hindus'. In this view of the matter, it can be stated that it is against the Constitutional mandate of non-arbitrariness if the said right is not extended to homosexual apart from heterosexual couples," the plea states.

“Not only this, the denial of this right to homosexual couples is also against the mandate of various international conventions that India is signatory to. Finally, the eponymous Golden Rule of Interpretation also states that plain meaning has to be imparted to words in a statute, unless such interpretation were to lead to an absurdity," it added.

The plea filed by Abhijit Iyer Mitra and other petitioners further submitted that despite the fact that there is absolutely no statutory bar under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and the Special Marriage Act of 1956 against gay marriage, the same are not being registered throughout the country and also in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

“As a result of the same, there are many benefits that would otherwise be available to heterosexual married couples that are not available to them," t said.

The plea states that Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1956 does not distinguish between Homosexual and Heterosexual couples so there shouldn’t be any bar for same sex marriages to be recognised under the Act.

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