The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Central government and the Attorney General for India R Venkataramani on two petitions filed by gay couples seeking recognition of same sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act [Supriyo @ Supriya Chakraborty v. Union of India].
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli heard the matter before seeking the response of the Central government and its top law officer.
"Issue notice returnable in 4 weeks. Liberty to serve the central agency. Notice shall be issue to Attorney General," the Court directed.
The Court was hearing two petitions filed by gay couples seeking recognition of same sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
The lead petition by Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, two gay men living in Hyderabad, said that the right to marry a person of one’s choice should extend to LGBTQ+ citizens, as well.
Supriyo and Abhay have been a couple for almost 10 years. They both got COVID during the second wave of the pandemic and when they recovered, they decided to have a wedding-cum-commitment ceremony on their 9th anniversary to celebrate their relationship. They had a commitment ceremony in December 2021 attended by their parents, family and friends.
However, despite the same, they do not enjoy the rights of a married couple, the plea pointed out.
It was also contended that the Supreme Court in Puttaswamy case, held that LGBTQ+ persons enjoy the right to equality, dignity and privacy guaranteed by the Constitution on the same footing as all other citizens.
The second petition filed by gay couple Parth Phiroze Mehrotra and Uday Raj said that non-recognition of same-sex marriages is violative of right to quality under Article 14 and right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Senior Advocates Neeraj Kishan Kaul and Menaka Guruswamy and advocates Arundhati Katju, Priya Puri and Shristi Borthakur appeared in the lead petition.
Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi and Saurabh Kirpal appeared in the second petition briefed by Karanjawala & Co.
Read more about the two petitions here.
[Read our live-coverage of the hearing below]