The Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict on pleas seeking legal sanction for same-sex marriage. The judgment will be announced by a Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, this coming Tuesday.
The Constitution Bench, which also includes Justices SK Kaul, SR Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, had reserved its judgment in May of this year after conducting exhaustive hearings and considering arguments from both sides of the debate.
During the hearings, the Central government had presented its position to the apex court, expressing reservations about the notion of granting something “less than marriage but more than the present status.” The government had raised concerns about potential complications and had suggested the need for a more comprehensive approach.
The Union government had agreed to establish a committee, to be led by the Cabinet Secretary, tasked with assessing administrative measures to address certain issues concerning basic social benefits for same-sex couples. These benefits may include shared bank accounts and the nomination of partners in insurance policies, even in the absence of full legal recognition of their marital status.
The Supreme Court had previously urged the Center to find practical solutions to provide these fundamental social benefits to same-sex couples, irrespective of the court’s eventual decision on the legality of same-sex marriages.
However, the response to these pleas has not been uniform across all states. The governments of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Assam have expressed opposition to granting legal sanction to same-sex marriages. In contrast, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Sikkim have advocated for a more extensive and intense debate on the issue and have indicated that they cannot immediately provide their responses.