India’s top court to rule on same-sex marriage this week

New Delhi, Oct 16 (EFE).- India is anticipating the verdict from the Supreme Court this week regarding the legality of same-sex marriage amid the imminent retirement of one of the judges involved.

The case, which began in April, has pitted 20 petitioners against the Indian government.

Justice Ravindra Bhat, a member of the five-judge bench handling the case, is set to retire on Friday, necessitating the court to issue a verdict before his departure.

“The bench has to pronounce its judgment before any of the judges retire. Because if they retire, then the full bench can’t write the judgment, and then you have to rehear the case,” a source close to the judicial process told EFE.

The verdict comes five years after India abolished a British-era law that had been in place for over 150 years, criminalizing same-sex relations and deeming them unnatural.

The petitions from same-sex couples aim to amend the Special Marriage Law, a secular statute in India that operates independently from the personal laws of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian traditions.

The Indian government, however, has consistently opposed the petitions, asserting that marriage is exclusively the union between a man and a woman.

Despite the stance, the government did establish a committee to confer certain legal rights upon same-sex couples, without officially recognizing their marriages.

Throughout the trial, the government emphasized that the decision should rest with parliament rather than the Supreme Court.

Should the Supreme Court rule in favor of the petitioners, India, the world’s largest democracy and most populous country, will join a list of fewer than 35 countries worldwide that recognize the legality of same-sex marriages. EFE


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