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Delhi HC Issues Notice To Centre On Plea To Recognise Same-Sex Marriages Under Hindu Marriage Act

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre on a plea to recognise same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act. The matter is under the Bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon. They have asked the Centre to submit its response in four weeks.

According to The Hindu, the petition was filed by members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community Abhijit Iyer Mitra, Gopi Shankar M., Giti Thadani, and G. Oorvasi. The plea stated that section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) lays down that marriage can be performed between ‘any two Hindus’ under the Act.  There is nothing mentioned in the HMA that mandated that marriage should take place only between a Hindu man and a Hindu woman. 

What You Should Know

  • The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre on a plea to recognise same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act. 
  • The petitioners have said that marriages between same-sex couples are not possible despite the Supreme Court decriminalising consensual homosexual acts.
  • The Petitioners relied on the principles of the ‘Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India’ case and said any kind of discrimination based on the sexual orientation of a person is unconstitutional.

Also Read: Allahabad High Court Orders Police Protection To Same-sex Couple

The Community members have also said that marriages between same-sex couples are not possible despite the Supreme Court decriminalising consensual homosexual acts. In 2018, the Supreme Court in ‘Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India’ case decriminalised homosexuality in India. The Petitioners relied on the principles of Johar’s case and said any kind of discrimination on the basis of the sexual orientation of a person is unconstitutional.

The Plea

The plea filed by members of the LGBT community pointed that while there is no statutory bar under the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act against same-sex marriages, they were not being registered throughout the country. 

Also Read: Delhi HC Seeks Centre’s Response on Same Sex Marriage Petition

The petitioners in their plea also named various countries like the United States, Australia, Germany, Canada, Spain, Brazil, and England, where same-sex marriages are legal. They pointed “right to marry is a part of ‘right to life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution”.

According to The Economic Times, the Delhi High Court also seized two more petitions on a similar issue. One petition filed by two women seeking to get married under the Special Marriage Act. The requirement for marriage under the Special Marriage Act is the consent of both parties to the marriage. Another petition was filed by two men who got married in the United States but were denied registration of their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act (FMA).

Also Read: In Depth: Petition to Legalise Same Sex Marriage – Who Does it Leave Behind?

Sagrika Giri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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