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Marriage equality: CJI rebuffs elitist argument; Centre says leave it to us

As the SC resumed hearing the petitions in the ongoing marriage equality case, CJI observed that the elitism argument of the Centre is just prejudice and shall have no bearing on the court's decision

Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

Nupur Dogra New Delhi

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The Supreme Court resumed the hearing on Wednesday petitions in the ongoing marriage equality case for legal sanctions to same-sex marriages.

The Centre requested the apex court to consider leaving the question of same-sex marriage to the Parliament and argued that the right to marry does not include the right to compel Parliament to change the definition of marriage.

Earlier in the day, CJI D Y Chandrachud, while hearing the petitioners, had observed that the elitism argument of the Centre is "just prejudice and has no bearing on how the court will decide the case." The five-judge constitutional bench is hearing the petitions seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriage.

In its earlier submission last week, the Centre told the Supreme Court that the petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage merely reflect urban elitist views that cannot be compared with an appropriate legislature that represents the views and voices of the entire country.

"This would not in fact and cannot, in law, mean a majoritarian approach. This is the only constitutional approach permissible under the Constitution while recognising any socio-legal relationship as an institution with sanction under the law. The competent legislature is the only constitutional organ which is aware of the above-referred considerations. The petitioners do not represent the view of the entire population of the nation," Centre said in an affidavit.

Asserting that Judicial review cannot be judicial legislation, the Centre had said that issues of same-sex marriage are left to be decided by the competent legislature, where social, psychological, religious and other impacts on society can be debated.

CJI, while hearing the petitions on Tuesday, said that "you cannot dispute that the Parliament has the power to interfere with the canvas covered by these petitions.."

He added that the question is which are the interstices left where the court can interfere.

The bench observed last week that there is no absolute concept of a man or an absolute concept of a woman at all. 

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First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 3:26 PM IST

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