A petition was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking recognition for same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act. The petitioners argued that the Act does not bar same-sex marriages claiming that it does not specify that marriage ought to be between a man and a woman. The matter was taken up by the Court on Monday.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, said that he opposed the petition. He argued that homosexual marriages are not recognised by our laws and culture. He said that the Hindu Marriage Act itself does not recognise same-sex marriages. As per law, marriage is only between a husband and a wife’, he argued.
SG Tushar Mehta argues that the Hindu Marriage Act itself doesn’t recognise same-sex marriages.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 14, 2020
‘As per law, marriage is only between a husband and a wife’, he argues#LGBTQ
It was argued that there are several issues that need to be considered, for example, the Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told Chief Justice D N Patel led bench that moral values of Indian society and culture are codified in various laws. Who will decide who is the husband and wife in a same-sex marriage for the purpose of prohibitory degrees of matrimony, he asked.
He also asked under the domestic violence Act, who will be the husband and who the wife in a same-sex marriage? Further, he said under 498A IPC punishing the husband and in-laws for cruelty to the wife would also pose serious implementation issues in same-sex marriage. He said if a woman dies within 7 yrs of marriage, cruelty is presumed and the case is probed. How will it work in same-sex marriage?
The Court responded saying that it has to look at the matter at hand with an open mind and not the position as stated by a law saying that changes are happening across the world. SG Tushar Mehta, however, maintained that the petition does not even deserve the filing of an affidavit. The matter concluded with the Court directing the petitioners to place on record all those people who have been affected by the non-registration of such marriages at the next hearing.
Court directs the Petitioner to bring on record all those persons who are aggrieved by the non-registration of same-sex marriages on the next date of hearing#LGBTQIA— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 14, 2020
The petition has been filed by Abhijit Iyer Mitra, Gopi Shankar M, Giti Thadani and G Oorvasi and it is argued that denial of the Right to Marry is in violation of the Right to Equality and Right to Life as guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.