CJI DY Chandrachud stands firm in minority judgment on queer couples, cites 'vote of conscience'
Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, in defence of his dissenting view in the recent same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court, emphasized that decisions made on matters of constitutional significance frequently rely on individual judges' "vote of conscience."
As per a report by ANI, CJI delivered his remarks during the third edition of the comparative constitutional law discussion at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The event focused on “Perspectives from the Supreme Courts of India and the United States."
“I do believe that sometimes it’s a vote of conscience and I stand by what I said," Chandrachud noted.
Additionally, the CJI referred to 13 specific cases in which he found himself in the minority when delivering notable judgments.
"By the unanimous verdict of all the five judges on the bench, we came to the conclusion that while we have progressed a great deal in terms of decriminalising homosexuality and recognising people belonging to the queer community as equal participants in our society, legislating on the right to marry is something that falls within the domain of Parliament," the CJI said.
ANI further reported, on differing with the three other judges on the bench on the issue of civil unions and the adoption rights of queer couples, the CJI added, “But three of my colleagues felt that recognising a right to form unions was again beyond the traditional domain and that it must be left to Parliament."
Earlier on October 17, the Supreme Court of India on Monday announced the verdict on same-sex marriage in India, saying it cannot make law but only interpret it and it is for Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act.
The petitioners have argued that same-sex couples should be granted the same rights as any heterosexual couples the status of spouse in finance and insurance issues; medical, inheritance, and succession decisions.