‘Nobody dying for want of marriage certificates’

The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it was caught up with the COVID-19 situation and “nobody is dying because they don’t have marriage certificate” while seeking adjournment of a bunch of petitions, seeking recognition of same-sex marriage.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, cited a circular of the High Court asking courts to take up only urgent matters during the pandemic while seeking adjournment of the petitions.

The Solicitor General said all its law officers are working on issues which concern COVID-19 while urging the High Court to take up the petitions seeking recognition of same-sex marriages at a later date.

Mr. Mehta also raised the issue of a roster of the Division Bench which will be hearing the bunch of petitions.

Taking note of the submission, the court adjourned the hearing in the case for July 6, by which the Centre can seek clarification on the roster issue.

Earlier, the Centre had opposed any changes to the existing laws on marriage to recognise same-sex marriage saying such interference would cause “a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country”.

“Living together as partners and having a sexual relationship by same-sex individuals is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children which necessarily presuppose a biological man as a ‘husband’, a biological woman as a ‘wife’ and the children born out of the union between the two,” the Centre had argued.

The court is seized of three separate petitions by same-sex couples seeking to declare that the Special Marriage Act (SMA) and Foreign Marriage Act (FMA) ought to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

A fourth petition on the subject was also filed by four individuals who too claimed that the denial of same-sex marriage was a denial of rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 9:48:39 AM |

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