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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Same-sex marriage hearing Updates: No data to show it is 'elitist concept' - CJI

Same-sex marriage SC hearing updates: The Supreme Court resumed its hearing on validation of same-sex marriages Wednesday.
Same-sex marriage SC hearing LIVE updates: While consensual same sex relationships has been decriminalised in the country, same sex marriages are still not recognised.
Same-sex marriage SC hearing LIVE updates: While consensual same sex relationships has been decriminalised in the country, same sex marriages are still not recognised.

Same-sex marriage SC hearing updates: The Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced its hearing on a bunch of at least 15 petitions regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriages.  Through the pleas, the petitioners are seeking wider constitutional entitlements based on the right to life and personal liberty and other related rights. While the petitioners are being led by senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, SG Tushar Mehta is representing the central government, which has repeatedly opposed the hearing on the ground that recognition of marriages is Parliament's call and contented the case be not heard at all since “only a biological man and a biological woman can enter into a valid wedlock”....Read More

Meanwhile, Rohatgi emphasised the need for equal rights for the LGBTQIA+ community to be acknowledged under the social institution of marriage.

The SC bench led by CJI Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud heard the petitions, clarifying the remit of the proceedings will be limited to the validation of such marriages under the Special Marriage Act (SMA). It stressed on taking an "incremental approach" in the judicial decision-making process in the case and noted it will reflect “sage wisdom”.

Follow all the updates here:
Apr 19, 2023 4:41 PM IST

'If you go back to Indian texts…': Gay marriage petitioners to Supreme Court

The second day of the Supreme Court hearing of pleas to legalise marriage for same-sex and alternative sexuality couples - which the government opposes - began Wednesday with a reference to the oft-repeated rant against LGBTQIA+ relationships - they are 'against the order of nature'. Read more

Apr 19, 2023 4:04 PM IST

Hearing over for the day

Day 2 of the hearing comes to an end.  Singhvi to continue submissions tomorrow. 

 

Apr 19, 2023 4:01 PM IST

Singhvi: Homosexual couples can have same interdependent sexual relation like heterosexual couples

Singhvi: A lesbian couple may have children by donor insemination and a gay couple may bring a child of someone else or adopt.. homosexual couples can have same interdependent sexual relation like heterosexual couples.

Apr 19, 2023 3:56 PM IST

Singhvi: 'Special Marriage Act was enacted as being agnostic to faith'

Singhvi highlighted another issue raised by the the Centre that same-sex marriage is against cultural and traditional understanding of marriage. 'Special Marriage Act was enacted as being agnostic to faith,' he says.

Apr 19, 2023 3:47 PM IST

Singhvi: Dignity is 'to treat everyone with equal concern and respect'

Singhvi: The third pillar is dignity. Dignity is "to treat everyone with equal concern and respect" and not to send a message that any individual is worth less because of their ascriptive characteristics.

Apr 19, 2023 3:46 PM IST

CJI: More than statutory silence, it is a failure to enact a law

CJI DY Chandrachud: It is not so much as statutory silence as much as failure to enact a law.

Singhvi: More than failure to enact, they will not recognise.

Apr 19, 2023 3:45 PM IST

Singhvi: 'If they can't do it for heterosexual couples, how is it a reasonable restriction for me'

Singhvi: If they can't do it for heterosexual couples because your lordships will undoubtedly hold it as an unreasonable restriction, how is it a reasonable restriction for me?

Singhvi: The silence is being read in the counter and the stand of the government as a restriction.

Apr 19, 2023 3:42 PM IST

'When the Hindu Code came...': Petitioners on Day 2 of same-sex marriage hearing in Supreme Court | Top 5 quotes

The Supreme Court on Wednesday resumed its hearing on the issue of recognising “same-sex marriage”. A five-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud has been constituted to oversee the proceedings. Other members of the bench comprised Justices S K Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, PS Narasimha, and Hima Kohli. Read more

Apr 19, 2023 3:39 PM IST

Singhvi: The projection of the gender identity, part of free speech, is inhibited

Singhvi: The right is being questioned on the ground that the rights heterosexuals have, non heterosexual couples do not have.

The projection of the gender identity, which is a part of free speech, is inhibited by your stand which allows that right unfettered in heterosexual category.

Apr 19, 2023 3:38 PM IST

Singhvi: The right to express one's gender identity is being questioned by the State without a law under Article 19(2)

Singhvi: Third and the last prong is the dignity point under Article 21. This is actually intersection of 14 with 19(1)(a)- the right to express one's gender identity is being questioned by the State without a law under 19(2).

Apr 19, 2023 3:36 PM IST

Singhvi: Hypothetically, the very text of Article 19(2) doesn't make it easy to think of a law

Singhvi: If a law was made, which part of 19(2) can be relatable to when the core values of Constitution your lordships is discussing.

Hypothetically, the very text of 19(2) doesn't make it easy to think of a law which can be made- it's a hypothetical argument made to show the contrast.

Apr 19, 2023 3:34 PM IST

Freedom of expression includes right to express one's gender identity

Singhvi: Freedom of expression includes the freedom or the right to express one's gender identity in all its manifestations.

Apr 19, 2023 3:28 PM IST

Singhvi: Hierarchy, which is a sub classification, not allow under Article 14

Singhvi: Your lordship is allowing the creation of hierarchy between different conceptions of the family- involving unions between some kinds of persons more equal than others to have unions.

Hierarchy, which is a sub classification, your lordship will not allow under Article 14.

Apr 19, 2023 3:24 PM IST

Singhvi: Text evolves over time, even intent evolves over time

Singhvi: Text evolves over time, even intent evolves over time. Your lordship is looking not to strike down anything but to make it constitutionally compliant.

Apr 19, 2023 3:23 PM IST

Singhvi: It is wrong to think that text of the statute is a limitation

Singhvi: It is wrong to think that text of the statute is a limitation. It is wrong to think that even intent is a limitation. With evolving dynamics of time and society, the two tests are to make it treaty compliant...

Apr 19, 2023 3:23 PM IST

Singhvi: There is another facet of manifestly arbitrariness

Singhvi: There is another facet of manifestly arbitrariness.. now there is substantive fairness.. now these atypical manifestations of family units are not only deserving of protection of law but also social welfare institutions

Apr 19, 2023 3:21 PM IST

CJI: The basis of a classification cannot be conflated with a purpose

CJI: The basis of a classification cannot be conflated with a purpose..

Singhvi cites a judgment regarding evening law classes for candidates... societal values cannot trump non discriminatory principles..

Apr 19, 2023 3:20 PM IST

Arguments on tax benefits

Singhvi: I dont marry because i want to get a tax benefit... some people do..

Justice Kaul: some people get separated to get tax benefits.

Justice Hima Kohli: i was about to say this..

CJI: if a couple is in gay or lesbian relationship can still adopt , so the entire argument LGBTQ couple raising will impact children is belied since . either of the gay or lesbian can adopt..just that the child loses the aspect of parenthood.

Apr 19, 2023 3:13 PM IST

Singhvi: You can't trump equality principles by reference to societal values.

Singhvi: You can't trump equality principles by reference to societal values. If I'm here on exclusion, based on discrimination, then assuming- I'm not at all accepting that societal values make it outside, but if they were, they cannot trump non discriminatory principles.

Apr 19, 2023 3:07 PM IST

Two stands of the Government on the matter

Singhvi: Yes! Second, broadly see what the government is saying. Stand one- cultural ethos. Stand two, which I'm very strongly supporting, marriage is a vital institution.

Apr 19, 2023 3:05 PM IST

CJI to Singhvi: By reading SMA as agnostic to sexual orientation, you are not making a leap of faith

CJI DY Chandrachud: So you're saying that the SMA was intended to be agnostic to faith. So by reading it as agnostic to sexual orientation, you are not making a leap of faith.

Apr 19, 2023 3:04 PM IST

Singhvi: The SMA is a non religious marriage related legislation

Singhvi: The SMA is a non religious marriage related legislation. This addresses the point of the respondent which is "cultural understanding of marriage as a union". Cultural understanding of marriage was not the basis of SMA.

Apr 19, 2023 3:04 PM IST

Under the Transgender Act, Kinnars, Aravanis, Hijras, Jogtis are recognised as a separate class

Adv Karuna Nundy: Under the Transgender Act, Kinnars, Aravanis, Hijras, Jogtis are recognised as a separate class.

Apr 19, 2023 3:03 PM IST

To say that this is an elitist concern is wrong: Counsel

Counsel: Similarly, in my petition, @PadmashaliAkkai- she is a well known trans activist. At the age of 15, she was thrown out of her own house. She had to drop out of school, she was on the streets, and thereafter she came back mainstream.

These are the lives they've led. And to say that this is an elitist concern is wrong.

Apr 19, 2023 3:01 PM IST

Sr Adv KV Vishwanathan: ‘My client is transgender, was disowned by the family, begged on the streets…’

Sr Adv KV Vishwanathan: My client is transgender, was disowned by the family, begged on the streets, and today she is director in KPMG- all by herself. For her to be branded an "urban elitist" shows absolute lack of grace.

Apr 19, 2023 3:00 PM IST

No data by the Govt to show it's an elitist concept

CJI DY Chandrachud: There is no data coming out of the government that this is urban or something.

Singhvi: One of the points we're making is that every averment in the counter is without a single survey, single data, single test.

Apr 19, 2023 2:59 PM IST

 CJI Chandrachud on elitist concept

CJI DY Chandrachud: And when you say that this is an innate characteristic, it's also an argument in response to the contention that this is very elitist or urban or it has a certain class bias. Something which is innate cannot have a class bias.

Apr 19, 2023 2:57 PM IST

 CJI asks, 'So you're saying, state cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of a characteristic'

CJI DY Chandrachud: So you're saying, the state cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of a characteristic over which a person has no control.

Singhvi: Exactly!

Apr 19, 2023 2:53 PM IST

Sr Advocate Menaka Guruswamy on marriage concept

Sr Advocate Menaka Guruswamy: How my lords define marriage will address those concerns. So there is no specific RBI guideline. The assumption is that if you're spouses, you can have that joint bank account. Similarly, for insurance.

Apr 19, 2023 2:51 PM IST

Justice Bhat: If there is no prohibition in parent enactment, it becomes that much easier

Justice Bhat: There are certain things which can be done straight away without entering other arenas. If there is no prohibition in parent enactment, it becomes that much easier.

Apr 19, 2023 2:48 PM IST

Singhvi argues on group insurance to families

Singhvi: We're talking about group insurance. I am a family with one, two, and children- you get a family group insurance. There you may not get.

Apr 19, 2023 2:47 PM IST

 Justice Bhat: I suspect IRDA regulations are open ended

Singhvi: They will originate from IRDA requirements but they will be in all policies.

Justice Bhat: But do IRDA regulations use these expressions or are they left loose? I suspect they are open ended.

Apr 19, 2023 2:46 PM IST

Justice Bhat: Do we have IRDA regulations/ standard policies which are approved

Justice Bhat: One question, for instance take insurance, the insurance law per se is a subject to regulation. So do we have IRDA regulations or these are standard policies which are approved.

Apr 19, 2023 2:45 PM IST

Singhvi: There is the horizontal set which are daily incidents of harrassment

Singhvi: Only marriage is required for these, everything else follows- compensation to dependants, appointment of nominees for receipt of post retirement benefits, spousal communication, right to bodily remains and so on.

Then there is the horizontal set which are daily incidents of harrassment.

Apr 19, 2023 2:43 PM IST

 Adoption, surrogacy, interstate succession, tax exemption, tax deductions: Singhvi

Singhvi: Adoption, surrogacy, interstate succession, tax exemption, tax deductions- it simply requires marriage- compassionate government appointments...this is only illustrative, not exhaustive.

Apr 19, 2023 2:41 PM IST

It is an integral aspect for the ability to have and enjoy a family life: Singhvi

Singhvi: Last is, it is an integral aspect for the ability to have and enjoy a family life.

Apr 19, 2023 2:40 PM IST

Marital status by itself is a source of dignity, fulfillment, and self respect: Singhvi

Singhvi: Fifth is that marital status by itself is a source of dignity, fulfillment, and self respect. These are not adjectives. This is the real world. It actually happens.

Apr 19, 2023 2:39 PM IST

Child loses the benefits of parenthood of both the parents: CJI DY Chandrachud

CJI DY Chandrachud: It's just that the child loses the benefits of parenthood of both the parents.

Apr 19, 2023 2:38 PM IST

It will create a psychological impact on the child: CJI DY Chandrachud

CJI DY Chandrachud: Incidentally, even if a couple is in a gay relationship or a lesbian relationship, one of them can still adopt. So the argument that this will create a psychological impact on the child is belied by the fact that today as the law stands, it's open.

Apr 19, 2023 2:36 PM IST

Why should there be exclusion of one set of couples: Singhvi

Marriage is vital and important because of the sense of security it provides to couples. Why should there be exclusion of one set of couples?

Apr 19, 2023 2:34 PM IST

For those who seek marriage, they seek it for a community: Singhvi

For those who seek marriage, they seek it for a community and social validation of a relationship. And I can't agree more with Mr SG that just like heterosexuals deserve it, non heterosexuals also seek it and deserve it: Singhvi

Apr 19, 2023 2:33 PM IST

Marriage is a vital foundation: Singhvi

It is because marriage is a vital foundation, we the excluded class, wants to have all those index of marriage which follow a marriage: Singhvi

Apr 19, 2023 2:30 PM IST

GOI says that you're liable of being excluded only because of ascriptive characteristics: Singhvi

Singhvi: The government of India is saying that you're liable of being excluded only because of ascriptive characteristics - involuntary, external, and not by choice.

Apr 19, 2023 2:28 PM IST

Singhvi continues his arguments in the court

The second aspect is that when the Government of India in its various places in counter says for example "socially, culturally, and legally ingrained", it fails to really address that the SMA was created as an alternative to what you might call socially ingrained concepts of marriage.

Apr 19, 2023 2:23 PM IST

Exclusion of the entire LGBTQ class is based on sex and sexual orientation: Singhvi

Singhvi: The implied exclusion of the entire LGBTQ class from SMA is based on a sole marker of identity - sex and sexual orientation.

Apr 19, 2023 2:20 PM IST

Three constitutional facets being practiced on ascriptive issues: Singhvi

These are three constitutional facets being practiced on ascriptive issues- those issues which are not taken by choice. Ascriptive characteristics are race, caste, ethnicity, national origin- here it would be sex or sexual orientation, argues Singhvi. 

Apr 19, 2023 2:19 PM IST

We'll first deal with the larger constitutional facets on non discrimination: Singhvi

We'll first deal with the larger constitutional facets on non discrimination, dignity, and free speech. And then I'll give your lordships a very interesting development on the approach to interpretation to make things constitutionally compliant.

Apr 19, 2023 2:16 PM IST

Hearing resumes after lunch

Hearing has resumed after lunch, Singhvi continues.

Apr 19, 2023 2:15 PM IST

Personal laws won't be considered in this matter: SC

The top court on Tuesday made it clear that it will not go into personal laws governing marriages while deciding the pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriages and said the very notion of a man and a woman, as referred to in the Special Marriage Act, is not "an absolute based on genitals".

Apr 19, 2023 2:14 PM IST

Petitioners urge SC to use its plenary power, moral authority

The petitioners seeking legal validation of same-sex marriage on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to use its plenary power, “prestige and moral authority” to push the society to acknowledge such a union which would ensure LGBTQIA persons lead a “dignified” life like heterosexuals.