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‘Trying To Break My Own Preconceived Notions’: Madras HC Judge On Same-Sex Couple Plea

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Madras HC Judge: Justice N Anand Venkatesh of Madras High Court while hearing a protection plea by a same-sex couple observed that he is also in the process of breaking preconceived notions on same-sex relationships.

Earlier the judge had decided to hear the couple’s plea on camera as according to him the case needed to be dealt with sensitivity and empathy. The judge called it a “sample case of how the society even now is grappling to come to terms with same-sex orientation.”

Justice Venkatesh said, “To be open, I am also trying to break my own preconceived notions about this issue and I am in the process of evolving, and sincerely attempting to understand the feelings of the Petitioners and their parents.” The court has now assigned a counsellor, with the consent of the couple and their parents, who specialises in working with LGBTQIA+ people. The counsellor is asked by the court to submit a report of the matter in a sealed cover by April 26.

The judge said that a report from a specialist will be very vital as the court was “moving into unchartered waters” with the case. The couple had been facing issues with their parents as they didn’t accept the relationship between the two. The parents had also filed a missing person’s complaint to the police which has now been dropped and the parties are going to resolve their issues peacefully.

The petitioners in their plea shared the two of them have known each for two years. The judge said,” The Petitioners did not mince any words and there was so much clarity in what they wanted to convey.” The couple said that their friendship blossomed into love and made it clear that they want to be partners for life. The court informed that the couple left fr Madhurai in February this year because of the opposition they faced from their parents and that they are now being supported by an NGO named International Foundation For Crime Prevention and Victim Care. They are also looking for jobs to be financially independent.

While giving the judgement, Justice Venkatesh said that he researched to understand the case better but refrained from making academic observations because he thought it would be hypocritical of him to do so.

He said, “I personally spent some time in doing some research and collecting materials to arrive at a proper understanding of this issue. It would have been possible for me to pack my order with a lot of research material and get applauded by the outside world for rendering a scholarly Order. ”

The court ordered the couple will stay under the NGO’s protection for now and will interact with their parents regularly. Another hearing of the case has been scheduled for April 28.