Same-Sex Relationships: Madras HC

Same-Sex Relationships: Madras HC

While dealing with a petition filed by a same-sex couple for granting protection, Hon’ble Justice N. Anand Venkatesh of Madras HC on Monday 29th March 2021 detected that the Hon’ble Justice while hearing the petition filed by the couple “was trying to break his preconceived notions about the issue and the Hon’ble court was in the process of evolving”. 

The Hon’ble Bench earlier this week also expressed its desire of hearing the petition filed by the same-sex couple in the in-camera proceedings given the sensitivity involved in the matter. 

Subsequently when on Monday, the parties appeared before the Hon’ble Court, wherein the Hon’ble bench conversed with the Petitioners and their parents in order to assess their mental status and to comprehend their opinion.

In the background, the 1st Petitioner has aged about 22 years and the 2nd Petitioner aged about 20 years. Needful to note that the Petitioners know each other for the last 2 years now and both of them in consensus specified before the Hon’ble Court that their friendship bloomed into love and they were very clear that both of them will be a partner to each other for life.

The Hon’ble court soon after hearing the petition noted that both the petitioners did not skip any words and there was so much clarity in what they wanted to convey. Additionally, the Hon’ble court also mentioned that the parents of the individual Petitioners, came to know about the relationship between the Petitioners, and it was not to their liking. 

Thereafter the Hon’ble court alleged that when the Hon’ble bench interacted with the parents of the respective Petitioners, the parents voiced their shock and also stated that they are unable to immediately accept the relationship between the Petitioners. The Hon’ble court also stated that the parents of the petitioners were more concerned about the security of the Petitioners and were worried that the Petitioners should not get demoralized. 

In this backdrop, the Hon’ble court believed it fit to refer the Petitioners and their respective parents to a therapist who specializes in working with LGBTQI+ individuals. 

Furthermore, the Hon’ble court also declared that recommending parents to a therapist becomes very vital since this Court is moving into unchartered waters, and a report from a specialist will provide support to this Court to move forward in this case. 

Thereafter the Hon’ble Justice Venkatesh remarked, “I spent some time in doing some research and collecting materials to arrive at a proper understanding of this issue. It would have been possible for me to pack my Order with a lot of research material and get applauded by the outside world for rendering a scholarly Order. There was a call from inside which kept reminding me that if I venture into such an exercise at this stage, it will only be hypocritical of me since the Order will not reveal my true and honest feeling about this very important issue.” 

Significantly, the Hon’ble bench further said, “that the Hon’ble court is also trying to break their preconceived notions about this issue and the Hon’ble court is also the process of evolving, and sincerely attempting to understand the feelings of the Petitioners and their parents thereafter, proceed to write a detailed Order on this issue. That is the reason why the Hon’ble court is trying to develop this case brick by brick and ultimately, construct something purposeful on this issue.”

Additionally, the Hon’ble Court also requested the Counsellor, to counsel the parties and the request was readily accepted by the specialist, and the counselling will take place during the third week of April 2021. 

Lastly, the Hon’ble Court asked for the report in a sealed cover preferably on or before 26.04.2021. The Hon’ble Court also got a prima facie impression that the parties would work towards a peaceful resolution and the Government Advocate also submitted that the police wouldn’t interfere in the issue any longer and that the complaints would be immediately closed. 

The matter has been posted for further hearing on 28th April 2021.

Sneh Somani
Experienced Legal Research Assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the law practice industry. Skilled in Journalism, Research, and Writing. Strong legal professional with a bachelor of arts and law focused in Law from Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA. Engrossed work in Gender studies and Women Empowerment and Contemporary Issues.