The Supreme Court has ordered that the batch of petitions seeking legal validation of same-sex marriage be heard by a five-judge constitution bench.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala has directed that the matters be listed for hearing before the constitution bench on April 18.

The Bench said that it would be appropriate if the issue raised are resolved by a five-judge bench keeping in mind Article 145(3) of the constitution.

With the decision to transfer the petitions to the constitution bench, the fervent request for live streaming of the hearing by Senior Advocate Neeraj Kaul stands allowed.

The Court directed that if the Centre wants to file any supplementary affidavit, the same shall be done within three weeks and the petitioners have been permitted to file their rejoinder. The nodal counsel on both sides, Advocate Arundhati Katju on the side of the petitioners and Advocate Kanu Agarwal on the side of the respondents are to incorporate relevant documents in their convenience compilations.

In the brief hearing held today, the counsel for the petitioners relied on the judgments of KS Puttaswamy v Union of India, Deepika Singh v. Central Administrative Tribunal, and Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India. Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kaul, Raju Ramachandran, Anand Grover, KV Vishwanathan, Menaka Guruswamy, Saurabh Kirpal and others appeared for the petitioners, while Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the Centre.

In an affidavit filed before the Apex Court recently, the Central Government said that living together as partners and having a sexual relationships with same-sex individuals is not comparable to the Indian family unit concept, which involves a biological man and a biological woman with children born out of such wedlock.

In the previous hearing, the CJI-led bench had directed a total of nine pending petitions to be transferred to the Supreme Court from various High Courts. These petitions pending across several High Courts were on similar grounds of recognition of same-sex marriage.

The batch of petitions challenged the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, Foreign Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act to the extent they do not recognize same-sex marriages.

Cause Title- Supriyo @ Supriya Chakraborty V. Union of India (Batch of petitions) W.P.(C) No. 1011/2022