CJI says it is for Parliament to effect changes in law, equality demands that queer persons not discriminated against
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to allow same-sex marriages in the country.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India heard arguments in the case between April and May and had reserved its order on May 11.
“It is for Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act and the court can’t make law but only interpret it,” Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said on Tuesday while pronouncing verdict on 21 pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriage.
“There are four separate judgements in the matter,” the CJI said and started reading out operative portion of his verdict.
Pronouncing the verdict, he said it was “incorrect to state that marriage is a static and unchanging institution.”
The five-judge constitution bench comprises the CJI and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha.
Besides the CJI, Justice Kaul, Justice Bhat and Justice Narasimha have penned separate verdicts.
This court can’t make law and it can only interpret it and give effect to it, he said, adding “homosexuality or queerness is not an urban concept or restricted to upper class of society”.
“Whether there is need for change in regime of Special Marriage Act is for the Parliament to decide, CJI Chandrachud said.
“To imagine queer as existing only in urban spaces would be like erasing them, queerness can be regardless of one’s caste or class,” he said.
The bench had on May 11 reserved its verdict on the pleas after a marathon hearing of 10 days.