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Respond by February 15, Hearing in March: Supreme Court To Centre

The Supreme Court today consolidated and transferred to itself all petitions pending before other high courts around the nation concerning the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, told the Centre to file its joint response to all petitions on the subject by February 15 and directed that the petitions be listed in March.
The bench stated that any petitioner who is unable to appear in person before the court may use the virtual platform.
It urged the Centre’s and petitioner’s counsels to file a written note on the matter, legislation, and precedents, if any, and share it with themselves and the court. The judge directed the Centre’s counsel to ensure that no petitioner is overlooked and that all petitions be included in the compilations that would be prepared.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench that the court has two alternatives because a case is ready for hearing before the Delhi High Court, and the top court may either wait for its decision or transfer all the applications to itself.
Counsel for many petitioners informed the bench that they want the Supreme Court to transfer all of the cases to itself for an authoritative ruling on the subject, and that the Centre can file its answer before the Supreme Court.
On January 3, the Supreme Court stated that it will consider on January 6 petitions requesting transfer of petitions pending before high courts for recognition of same-sex marriages. On December 14, last year, the Supreme Court requested a statement from the Centre in response to two petitions pending in the Delhi High Court for directives to recognise same-sex marriages.
Previously, on November 25, last year, the Supreme Court requested the central government’s answer to separate petitions filed by two homosexual couples demanding enforcement of their right to marry and an order to the authorities to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act.

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