Rebuking a slew of petitions seeking to get same-sex marriages recognized in India under different personal rules, the Union of India today told the Delhi High Court, "You don't need a marriage certificate for hospitals, nobody is dying because they don't have a marriage certificate."
While requesting an adjournment of the petitions, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, cited a High Court circular directing courts to take up only urgent matters during the pandemic.
The Solicitor General stated that both of his law officers are focusing on matters related to COVID-19 while asking the High Court to hear the petition for same-sex marriage approval at a later date.
Mehta has brought up the question of a Division Bench roster for hearing the bunch of petitions. The court took notice of the submission and postponed the case's hearing until July 6, giving the Centre time to obtain clarity on the roster matter.
Previously, the Centre has resisted any amendments to traditional marriage legislation that would recognise same-sex marriage claiming that any intervention would lead to "complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country".
"Living together as partners and having a sexual relationship by same-sex individuals is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children which necessarily presuppose a biological man as a 'husband', a biological woman as a 'wife' and the children born out of the union between the two," the Centre had argued reported The Hindu.
Three separate petitions filed by same-sex spouses ask the court to declare that the Special Marriage Act (SMA) and the Foreign Marriage Act (FMA) should extend to all couples, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. A group of four people lodged a fourth petition on the matter, claiming that denying same-sex marriage was a violation of constitutional rights.