In a significant development, the Supreme Court has agreed to entertain a bundle of petitions seeking a reconsideration of its 17 October judgment that denied legal recognition to same-sex couples.
Earlier, the court had ruled that only Parliament and state legislatures could validate their marital unions, stirring a nationwide debate on LGBT rights.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi brought the matter before Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, urging a review before five judges on 28 November – a tentative date set by the court registry, as reported Hindustan Times.
Rohatgi emphasised the need for an open court hearing, highlighting the prevailing discrimination against LGBT couples and the necessity for a remedy.
Responding to the plea, Chief Justice Chandrachud assured that the review petitions would be considered appropriately, noting that an open court hearing could be granted if the judges find merit in the review plea.
Meanwhile, of the five judges on the same-sex marriage bench, Justice S Ravindra Bhat retired on 20 October.
Consequently, the CJI will need to appoint a new judge to the bench for the review process.
The 17 October judgment, by a 3-2 majority, had refused legal sanction to same-sex marriage and declined constitutional protection to civil unions and adoption rights for queer couples.
Udit Sood, a US-based lawyer and one of the petitioners, filed the first review petition on 1 November, labeling the majority judgment as "manifestly unjust" and "self-contradictory."
A week later, Supriya Chakravarty and Abhay Dang also sought a review, asserting that constitutional courts can review statutory law to align it with constitutional values without waiting for legislative action.
The upcoming reconsideration on 28 November will be a critical moment for the LGBT community in India, as the court grapples with the complex intersection of legal recognition, constitutional rights, and societal acceptance.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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