NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday clubbed and transferred to itself all petitions in connection with grant of legal recognition to same-sex marriages pending before various high courts.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala asked the Centre to file its reply on all the petitions in connection with same-sex marriages before February 15.
The court fixed the matter for hearing in March.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, submitted there are two options available for the apex court, a petition is being heard before the Delhi High Court and it could have the benefit of the verdict of the high court, or the top court can transfer all the petitions to itself.
The petitioners’ counsel, however, submitted that they wanted the top court to transfer all the cases to itself for an authoritative pronouncement on the issue.
The bench asked the lawyers, representing the petitioners and the central government, to file a note on the issue, laws, and precedents if any.
On December 14, last year, the Supreme Court had issued notice on a petition filed by a same-sex couple seeking legal recognition of their marriage in India.
The plea, filed through advocate Nupur Kumar, said, “The present Petition has been filed praying that this court may be pleased to issue a declaration to the effect that the persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ Community have the same right to marriage as their heterosexual counterparts and a denial therefore is violative of the rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of Part III of the Constitution of India, and upheld in various judgements of the Supreme Court including Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India…..and NALSA vs Union of India….”.
The petitioners in this case, an Indian national and a United States of America (USA) citizen, got married and registered their marriage in the USA in 2014 and now seek to register their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969.
On November 25, 2022, the top court had issued notice to the Centre and the Attorney General on two petitions filed by gay couples seeking recognition of same sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act.