NEW DELHI — A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Tuesday refused to grant any legal sanction to same-sex marriage.
The Constitution Bench, also comprising Justices S.K. Kaul, S.R. Bhat, Hima Kohli, and P.S. Narasimha, held that queer couples do not have an unqualified right to marriage.
It asked the Union government to set up a high-powered committee to be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary to take steps to decide the rights and social entitlements of same-sex couples.
The Supreme Court said that courts cannot make law and can only interpret it. It refused to accept the petitioners’ contention that in the Special Marriage Act (SMA), wherever ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ is used, it can be made gender neutral by using ‘spouse’, and ‘man’ and ‘woman’ should be substituted by ‘person’.
The Constitution Bench was hearing a batch of petitions that challenged certain provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, Foreign Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and other marriage laws as unconstitutional on the ground that they deny same-sex couples the right to marry, or alternatively, to read these provisions broadly so as to include same-sex marriage. — IANS