India Supreme Court consolidates high court same-sex marriage petitions News
India Supreme Court consolidates high court same-sex marriage petitions

The Supreme Court of India (SCt) Friday transferred all petitions pending before the different high courts seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India to itself.

One petition was filed by Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang who seek to legally recognize their ceremonial marriage under the Special Marriage Act. Another petition was filed by an Indian national and a US citizen, who registered their marriage in the US in 2014. The couple now wants to register their marriage under India’s Foreign Marriage Act. Many others also filed similar petitions before the Delhi and Kerala High Courts.

Earlier on January 3, Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy requested a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Judge P.S. Narasimha to transfer two similar petitions pending before the Delhi and Kerala High Courts to the Supreme Court.

In all of the petitions, the primary contention of the petitioners is that the non-recognition of same-sex marriage violates the constitutional rights to equalityfreedom of expression and dignity. They relied on NALSA vs Union of India (2014) and Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union of India (2018) which recognised non-binary gender identities and guaranteed equal rights to homosexual persons.  

LiveLaw reporters present noted that Chief Justice Chandrachud said petitioners who are unable to travel to Delhi will be able to appear in court virtually.

The court appointed Advocate Arundhati Katju for the Petitioners and Advocate Kanu Agarwal for the Union of India as nodal counsels and requested them to compile precedents, documents, and legislation on the matter. The court will next hear the batch of petitions on March 13, 2023.