Same-Sex Marriage Verdict in Supreme Court Live News Updates: A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud ruled against legalising same-sex marriage on Tuesday, 17 October.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, while reading out the judgment in the batch of petitions, said that the court cannot "strike down the provisions of Special Marriage Act (SMA) or read words differently."
In May 2023, the five-judge constitution bench had reserved its judgment on the case after a 10-day hearing. Others in the bench include Justices Hima Kohli, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, and PS Narasimha.
The pleas challenged the provisions of the Special Marriage Act 1954 (SMA), the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, and the Foreign Marriage Act 1969
The petitioners argued that marriage brings with it several rights, privileges, and obligations that are protected by the law
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'Right To Marry Is Not a Fundamental Right': Justice Bhat
"This court has recognised that marriage is a social institution. Marriage as an institution precedes the State. This implies that marriage structure exists regardless of the State. Terms of marriage are independent of the State, and its sources are external," Justice Bhat said.
"There cannot be an unqualified right to marry, which is to be treated as a fundamental right," he added.
Justice Kaul Backs Civil Unions for Non-Heterosexual Couples
Justice SK Kaul also joined CJI in batting for civil unions for non-heterosexual couples. He says that legal recognition of such unions represents a step towards marriage equality.
"Principle of equality demands all people have the right to unions irrespective of sex, gender, or orientation," Justice SK Kaul said.