The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and the Attorney General on two petitions filed by gay couples seeking recognition of same sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for lead petitioners Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that this is a plea for same sex marriage under Special Marriage Act.
The bench, also comprising Justice Hima Kohli, said the high court is already hearing the matter. The counsel submitted that the Centre had informed the Kerala High Court that a transfer plea would be moved before the apex court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for other petitioners in the second petition, said this is a sequel to Navtej Johar and Puttuswamy case and this is a living issue not a property issue.
Kaul submitted that issue affects basic rights like gratuity, adoption, surrogacy of same-sex couples and also the opening of joint accounts. Chakraborty and Dang have been a couple for almost 10 years and they recently had a commitment ceremony in December 2021, where their relationship was blessed by their parents, family, and friends.
After hearing arguments, the top court issued notice returnable in four weeks and also issued notice to the Attorney General.
The plea filed by Chakraborty and Dang said, “Despite being a couple for over a decade, calling their parents mummy-papa and maa-baba and going on holidays with them, having bought a home and built a life together, Supriyo and Abhay’s relationship is still legally as fragile as it was during the dark days of the pandemic. They do not enjoy any of the rights that married couples do, even though this Hon’ble Court has time and again declared that all adults have the right to marry a person of their choice”.
Citing judgments, the plea said the apex court has held that Article 21 guarantees that an adult person has the right to marry a person their choice. “The autonomy of individuals to enter into the relationship of marriage and family are crucial facets the freedom of conscience and right to privacy. This Hon’ble Court has always protected inter-faith and inter-caste couples when they chose to marry, and has time and again stepped to protect such couples where their relationships were otherwise threatened by societal and familial pressure”, added the plea.