In a landmark same sex marriage hearing, the Indian Supreme Court has asserted its autonomy and pushed back against attempts by the government to interfere in proceedings. The Court is currently considering a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexuality.
The government had requested that the Court delay the hearing, but the Court refused, stating that it was “in charge” of the proceedings and that the government should not attempt to dictate how they are conducted. LGBTQ activists are hopeful that the Court will strike down the discriminatory law and pave the way for legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India.
India’s Supreme Court is currently hearing a landmark case on the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexuality. The hearing has significant implications for LGBTQ rights in India and has drawn widespread attention from activists, legal experts, and the general public.
The Supreme Court resumed its hearing on validation of same-sex marriages Wednesday.
However, the Indian government has recently attempted to interfere in the proceedings, prompting the Supreme Court to push back and assert its autonomy. The government requested that the Court delay the hearing, citing concerns over public order and the potential for unrest. However, the Court rejected the request, stating that it was “in charge” of the proceedings and that the government should not attempt to dictate how they are conducted.
Mr. Rohatgi: When fundamental rights are breached, it is the SC’s jurisdiction and responsibility to listen to the person whose rights are violated under Art. 32 of the Constitution. Cannot wait for Parliament to draft a law.
He stated there is historical evidence to prove that homosexuality existed in India for thousands of years. References Khajuraho temple carvings that depict same-sex relationships.
Same Sex Marriage Hearing: LGBTQ activists welcome court response
The Court’s response has been welcomed by LGBTQ activists, who have long fought for legal recognition of their rights. They hope that the Court will use this opportunity to strike down Section 377 and pave the way for legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India. Currently, same-sex marriage is not recognized in India, and LGBTQ individuals face significant discrimination and harassment.
The hearing is ongoing, and updates will evolve. While the outcome of the case is uncertain, the fact that the Supreme Court is taking it seriously is a positive sign. It demonstrates that India is moving towards greater recognition of LGBTQ rights and that the government is being held accountable for its discriminatory laws and policies.
Furthermore, the Court’s assertion of its autonomy is also significant. In recent years, there have been concerns about the government’s attempts to influence the judiciary and undermine its independence. The Court’s response to the government’s request shows that it is committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation.
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”.
Overall, the hearing on same sex marriage in India is a crucial moment in the fight for LGBTQ rights. While there is still a long way to go, the fact that the Court is taking this issue seriously and asserting its independence is cause for optimism. As the same sex marriage hearing continues, activists and allies will be watching closely and advocating for legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India.