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Not allowing Homosexual Marriage a violation of Right to Life ; Delhi HC to hear PIL on 'same-sex' marriage

As per the petition, despite the Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality, same sex marriage is still not being allowed under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Delhi High Court on Monday posted a petition seeking allowance of registration of same sex marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act on October 21 while directing the petitioner to make certain amendments to the plea.

"File a civil misc. application by the next date of hearing in order to amend the petition,the matter is adjourned on October 21," said a division bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan while hearing a petition filed by Abhijit Iyer Mitra.

The court also asked the petitioner to inform the court about how many such couples want to get the marriage registered with their names.

During the course of hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre while opposing the petition, said that the Hindu Marriage Act requires are 'man' and a 'woman' for the marriage. However, the arguments of the counsel of the petitioner was that the said gender specification isn't there in the said act.

 Tushar Mehta during hearing of a PIL seeking a declaration that same sex marriages be recognised under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) and Special Marriage Act.

Mehta opposed the relief sought in the petition saying "our laws, our legal system, our society and our values do not recognise a marriage, which is a sacrament, between same sex couples".

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"SC only de-criminalised homosexuality nothing more or less," he said further.

The PIL said that nothing in the Hindu Marriage Act mandated that a marriage take place only between a Hindu man and a Hindu woman. It further pointed out that in 2018, the Supreme Court read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised homosexuality.

"The non-recognition of the rights of gay couples, especially when their sexuality has been recognised as such as valid by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India is violative of various provisions of the Constitution of India as well as various conventions that India as a sovereign state is signatory to," the petition stated.

"...the denial of this right to homosexual couples is also against the mandate of various international conventions that India is signatory to. Finally, the eponymous Golden Rule of Interpretation also states that plain meaning has to be imparted to words in a statute, unless such interpretation were to lead to an absurdity," It said further.

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