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'No Absolute Concept Of A Man Or Woman At All': CJI Chandrachud, While Hearing Same-Sex Marriage Petition

Swarajya Staff

Apr 18, 2023, 05:31 PM | Updated 05:32 PM IST

Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud.

A bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice was hearing the matter pertaining to validity of same-sex marriage, today (18 April).

In its course, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, while representing the Centre argued that acceptance of societal relationships is never dependent on judgements of legislations. It comes only from within.

He stated that even if personal laws are left aside, in Special Marriage Act also the legislative intent throughout has been the relationship between a biological male and a biological female. 

To which, CJI Chandrachud responded that there is no absolute concept of a man or a woman.

He importantly added that, "It's not the question of what your genitals are. It's far more complex, that's the point. So even when Special Marriage Act says man and woman, the very notion of a man and a woman is not an absolute based on genitals". 

The Solicitor then strongly argued that, biological man means a man with biological genitals.

If the notion being spoken about by the CJI is treated to be a guiding factor to decide a man or a woman, it would make several legislations unworkable.

He added that, "If I have genitals of a man but otherwise am a woman, as being suggested, how will I be treated under CrPC? As a woman? Can I be called for 160 statement? (Woman cannot be called for attendance as a witness under Section 160 of CRPC) There are several issues.”

The case is presently being heard by a Constitution bench of five judges. 

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