The Centre on Monday opposed the urgent hearing in Delhi High Court on a batch of pleas seeking recognition to same-sex marriages in India under the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and Foreign Marriage Act.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before a division bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Amit Bansal that law officers were struggling with COVID-19 issues amid the pandemic and the government is focussing on urgent issues.
As a counsel argued that the matter requires urgent hearing as it affected the daily lives of lakhs of people.
Mehta submitted, “You don’t need marriage certificate for hospitals nobody is dying because they do not have marriage certificate,” as the counsel pleaded that people are being left out in hospitals and medical treatment.
The Centre also submitted a letter seeking adjournment, pointing out the High Court was only hearing “extremely urgent” cases currently.
Mehta also raised the issue with respect to the roster of the division bench hearing the petitions.
Senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, appearing for one of the petitioners in the matter, argued that the urgency of the subject matter should be looked upon in a neutral manner and only decided by the court. Kirpal urged the court to take up the petitions next week after clarity on issue of roster.
The High Court noted that the Union government may obtain clarification with respect to the roster, and after a brief hearing in the matter, the court adjourned the hearing on the batch of pleas to July 6.
The Centre had opposed the petitions stating that in spite of decriminalisation of homosexuality under Section 377 of the IPC, there was no fundamental right of same-sex marriage.
The Centre had said the acceptance of the institution of marriage between two individuals of the same gender is neither recognized nor accepted in any uncodified personal laws or any codified statutory laws.