Review petition filed before SC urging open court hearing in Same-sex Marriage case

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On Wednesday (November 01), a review petition was filed before the Supreme Court (SC) against its October 17 verdict (Supriyo @ Supriya Chakraborty & Anr. vs. Union of India) refusing to grant legal validation to same-sex marriages in India saying that it was up to the Parliament to decide whether to expand marriage law and include queer unions or not. The decision was given by a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and comprising Justice PS Narasimha, Justice Hima Kohli, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul. By a 3:2 majority, the SC bench declined to allow civil unions for non-heterosexual couples and rejected to grant adoption rights to same-sex couples. A plea was moved to review the judgment urging an open court hearing. The review petition reads, “Nonetheless, the majority judgment fails to take the logical next step of prohibiting the discrimination. It instead invited the respondents to consider such impacts and make necessary recommendations.” The petition also highlighted that the judgment suffers several errors stating, “It is most respectfully submitted that for a Constitutional Court to specifically identify discrimination; but fail to grant appropriate remedies, is an abdication of its responsibility under the Constitution of this country.” 

The review petition added, “As correctly noted by the Chief Justice, the Majority Judgment fails to address whether Regulation 5(3) is discriminatory for distinguishing between married and unmarried couples for the purpose of adoption and for the disproportionate impact that it has on the members of the queer community while simultaneously holding that the State cannot, on any account, make regulations that are facially or indirectly discriminatory on the ground of sexual orientation.” It also said that the majority judgment led to depravation of the petitioner’s fundamental rights. The review petition reads, “The Majority Judgments erroneously likens this case to a petition for the construction of a road to enforce the right to travel, or creation of a platform for a poet who wishes to share their work, when in fact, here, the respondents have constructed the metaphoric road and poetry platform–only that homosexuals are barred from both because the respondents think homosexuals are inherently a problem.”