New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India ruled in a historic decision on October 17 that same-sex couples do not have a fundamental right to marry, rejecting a petition to legalize same-sex unions. After carefully reviewing the arguments made by numerous social, political, and religious organizations during the hearings held in April and May, the court reached its conclusion.
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (M), a party to the case, applauded the court’s decision. Maulana Mahmood Asad Madani, head of Jamiat, stated that the ruling upholds the traditional institution of marriage, which has long been a cornerstone of society. It emphasizes how crucial it is to preserve the moral and ethical standards that have historically shaped our sense of cultural identity. Maulana Madani expressed his gratitude to the court for its astute decision-making in upholding a precarious equilibrium between the defense of individual rights and the perpetuation of our cultural norms.
Prominent attorney Kapil Sibal made strong arguments on behalf of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind from both a social and theological standpoint. Advocate Niaz Ahmad Farooqi and Advocate MR Shamshad were also on the Jamiat’s legal team, which was overseen by Kapil Sibal in this particular case.
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said in the decision delivered today that the case was outside the court’s purview and that marriage-related laws belong in the legislature. The five-judge constitutional bench acknowledged the intricacy of the matter and pointed out that changing a single statute would not be adequate because many other laws including those pertaining to religious personal laws are closely intertwined.
The court made it clear that it lacked the power to change the Special Marriage Act’s stipulations or legalize same-sex unions, which were created expressly to make interfaith and inter-caste weddings easier. It was proposed that the legislature or parliament should make the decision about whether or not to allow same-sex marriage. To avoid the infringement of their fundamental rights, it was also emphasized that the state should provide specific legal protections for same-sex couples.
In order to maintain transparency, the public interest case which comprised more than eighteen petitions got a lot of attention during the live-streamed sessions. On the five-judge bench, Chief
Justice Chandrachud was joined by Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ravinder Bhatt, Hema Kohli, and PS Narasimha.