Friday, December 9, 2022

PIL before Delhi HC says why no same-sex marriage under Hindu Marriage Act, which has no specific bar

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New Delhi: A petition has landed before the Delhi High Court, asking for directions to the Centre to recognize same sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, because the act does not specify sex of ‘bride’ or ‘groom’, but just wants them to be Hindus. When the petitioners told the court they know people who have been refused such marriages, the court asked them to bring the names of such people who have been so denied.

A divisional bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while hearing the PIL through video conferencing, noted that the persons aggrieved should come to the court. “When they can come to the court, then why this PIL?”

The PIL has been filed by Abhijit Iyer Mitra, Gopi Shankar, Giti Thandani, and G Oorvasi, seeking directions to the central government to recognize the rights of the same-sex couples and register marriages between them under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

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Advocate Raghav Awasthi, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that “under the Hindu marriage act any two Hindus can marry, and there is no legal and statutory bar for homo-sexual couples to marry, any two Hindus can marry, whereas benefits are provided to heterosexual couples.

Chief Justice Patel asked the petitioner: “Have you ever applied for the registration of marriage and it is denied? Awasthi replied “Yes, there have been some instances.”

The Chief Justice stated that the aggrieved person should come to the court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, submitted:

“This is contrary to the provisions already in place. Our society does not accept same-sex marriage.”

Mehta further added:

“The laws talk about WIFE. Who will be treated as a wife in these cases? The SC has merely de-criminalized, nothing more, nothing less.”

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The court has directed the petitioner to file an affidavit along with the names of the people aggrieved and also name those, who have denied the registration.

The matter is listed for October 21. 

– India Legal Bureau

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