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 D.Y. Chandrachud asked the Centre to file its reply on all the petitions in connection with same-sex marriages before February 15.
The bench, also comprising justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, scheduled the matter for hearing in March.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended that 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 apex court can transfer all the petitions to itself.
However, petitioners’ counsel argued that they want the top court to transfer all the cases to itself for an authoritative pronouncement on the issue. One of the counsel contended that Centre can file its response before the apex court.
The bench asked the lawyers, representing the petitioners and the central government, to file a note on the issue, laws, and precedents if any, and share it among themselves and the court, added the bench.
The bench asked the Centre’s counsel to ensure that no petitioner is left out and details of all the petitions be incorporated in the compilations.
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 v. Union of India and NALSA v. Union of India.”
The petitioners in this case, an Indian national and a US citizen, got married and registered their marriage in the US in 2014 and now seek to register their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, representing the petitioners, had requested for live streaming of the matter, saying there are many people who are interested in the matter. The top court said it will consider it when the matter is listed for hearing.
On November 25, last year, the Supreme 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.
Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul appeared for lead petitioners Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang.