The Supreme Court combined and transferred to itself all petitions for legal recognition of same-sex marriages pending before other high courts across the country. A bench composed of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha, and JB Pardiwala, directed the Centre to file a joint response to all petitions on the subject and directed that the petitions be listed.
The bench stated that any petitioner who is unable to appear in person before the court may use the virtual platform.
It urged the Centre's and petitioners' counsels to file a written note on the matter, legislation, and precedents, if any, and share it with themselves and the court.
The judge directed the Centre's counsel to ensure that no petitioner is overlooked and that all petitions are included in the compilations that would be made.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench that the court has two alternatives because a case is ready for hearing before the Delhi High Court, and the top court can either wait for its decision or transfer all the applications to itself.
Counsel for various petitioners told the bench that they want the Supreme Court to transfer all of the cases to itself so that it may make an authoritative decision on the subject, and that the Centre can file its answer before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had stated that it would hear on January 6 petitions seeking the transfer of applications pending before high courts for recognition of same-sex marriages to the supreme court.
Two Petitions Seeking The Transfer
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to two petitions seeking the transfer of applications pending in the Delhi High Court for directives to recognize same-sex weddings to the supreme court.
Last year, the Supreme Court sought the central government's answer to separate petitions filed by two gay couples demanding enforcement of their right to marry and a direction to the authorities to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
A bench led by CJI
A bench led by CJI Chandrachud, who was also a member of the Constitution decriminalizedinalised consensual gay sex in 2018, sent a notice to the Centre in November last year, in addition to asking the aid of Attorney General of India R Venkataramani in dealing with the pleas.
Consensual sex between adult homosexuals or heterosexuals is not a crime, the top court's five-judge Constitution bench held in a ground-breaking unanimous judgment on September 6, 2018, while overturning a portion of the British-era penal code that made it illegal because it violated the constitutional right to equality and dignity.