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SC serves notice to Centre after plea by gay couple on same-sex marriage

Hyderabad: The Supreme Court issued notices on two public interest litigations (PIL) on Friday, which included one filed by a Hyderabad-based gay couple, seeking recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

A bench headed by Chief Justice, DY Chandrachud directed that notices be issued to the Attorney General of India in addition to the Central government, returnable in four weeks, according to a report by Live Law.

The first petition was filed by Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, a gay couple, who have been a couple for almost 10 years and recently had a commitment ceremony.

The couple has moved to the Supreme Court seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act and to issue appropriate direction to authorities concerned to allow them to solemnize their marriage.

The petition raised the absence of a legal framework that allowed members of the LGBTQ+ community to marry any person of their choice.

According to the petition, the couple sought to enforce the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to marry any person of their choice and said that, “the exercise of which ought to be insulated from the disdain of legislative and popular majorities.”

The petitioners, further, asserted their fundamental right to marry each other and prayed for appropriate directions from this Court allowing and enabling them to do so.

The Public Interest Litigation was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by the petitioners and was in the interest of the LGBTQ+ community.

The petitioners, who are both members of the LGBTQ+ community, submitted that the right to many a person of one’s choice is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of India to each “person” and has been recognized explicitly by this Court.

They stressed that the top court has also expressly held that members of the LGBTQ+ community have the same human, fundamental and constitutional rights as other citizens.

However, the legal framework governing the institution of marriage in this country does not presently allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to many the person of their choice and enforce the fundamental right which has been guaranteed to them under our Constitution.

The petitioners submit that this is violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution, including Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(a), and 21.

The second PIL was filed by Parth Phiroze Mehrotra and Uday Raj Anand from Hyderabad, who have been in a relationship with each other for the last 17 years.

They said they were presently raising two children together, but since they cannot legally solemnize their marriage, it has resulted in a situation where both cannot have a legal relationship of parent and child with both their children.