Centre opposes pleas seeking legal recognition of same sex marriage.
The Central Government on Sunday filed an affidavit before the apex court of the country where it stated that it opposes recognizing same-sex marriage.
In the affidavit it stated that same sex marriage is not comparable with Indian family unit which comprises of a husband, a wife, and children born out of the union between the two of them i.e., the children is given birth by the biological man as father and the biological woman as mother and any interference “would cause a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country and in accepted societal values”.
The Centre is of the opinion that living together as partners and having sexual relationships by same sex individuals might have been decriminalised now but it cannot be compared to the concept of the Indian family unit.
It further argued that same sex marriage results in violation of personal as well as codified law provisions such as "degrees of prohibited relationship", "conditions of marriage" and "ceremonial and ritual requirements" under personal laws governing the individuals.
"The notion of marriage itself necessarily and inevitably presupposes a union between two persons of the opposite sex. This definition is socially, culturally, and legally ingrained into the very idea and concept of marriage and ought not to be disturbed or diluted by judicial interpretation," the Centre said.
"The parties entering into marriage creates an institution having its own public significance, as it is a social institution from which several rights and liabilities flow. Seeking declaration for solemnisation/registration of marriage has more ramifications than simple legal recognition. Family issues are far beyond mere recognition and registration of marriage between persons belonging to the same gender," it added.
The government in its affidavit further said, "Amongst Hindus, it is a sacrament, a holy union for performance of reciprocal duties between a man and a woman. In Muslims, it is a contract but again is envisaged only between a biological man and a biological woman. It will, therefore, not be permissible to pray for a writ of this court to change the entire legislative policy of the country deeply embedded in religious and societal norms."
The government further said it opposes the petitions and urged the Supreme Court to leave the issue to be decided by the Parliament.
However, the Supreme Court on Monday after hearing to a bunch of pleas seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages, referred them to a five-judge constitution bench for adjudication, and stated it as a “seminal issue” and an “important matter”.
Reportedly, the five-judge bench on same-sex marriage will be live streamed and commence from April 18.
The decision of referring the issue to a five-judge bench was taken by CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala and in due regard to the provisions of Article 145(3) of the constitution. Under Article 145(3), at least five judges should hear cases that involve “a substantial question of law as to the interpretation” of the Constitution.
“Having due regard to the broader context of the petitions…and the interrelationship between the statutory regime and constitutional rights, we are of the considered view that it will be appropriate if the issues raised are resolved by a Constitution Bench of five judges of this court having due regard to the provisions of Article 145(3) of the Constitution,” the bench said.
Chief Justice Chandrachud said the case involves an “interplay” between constitutional rights of life, liberty, dignity, equal treatment of members of the LGBTQ+ community members and specific statutory enactments which considers only a married union between a biological man and woman.
The petitioners argued that the Court’s judgment in Navtej Singh Johar in 2018, while decriminalising homosexuality, also upheld the individual right to family and choice of partners.
(With inputs from The Hindu)
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