Plea for Marriage Equality: Judgement Matrix

Plea for Marriage Equality

Judges: D.Y. Chandrachud CJI, S.K. Kaul J, S.R. Bhat J, Hima Kohli J, P.S. Narasimha J

Four opinions were written by the five-judge Constitution Bench in the plea for Marriage Equality. In a 366 page judgement, CJI D.Y. Chandrachud wrote 247 pages. Justice Bhat (who wrote on behalf of Justice Hima Kohli) followed, with 89 pages. Kaul J, who joined the CJI in his minority, wrote 17 pages. Narasimha J has written 13 pages.

The five-judge Bench unanimously agreed that there is no fundamental right to marry, and marriages between queer persons cannot be read into the Special Marriage Act, 1954. All five judges agreed that transgender persons in heterosexual relationships have the right to marry under the existing legal framework.

On the right to form civil unions, the court split 3:2 with the majority holding that no such right exists. The bench split 3:2 on the rights of unmarried non-heterosexual couples to adopt as well, with the majority holding that the Union’s guidelines barring such adoption was legally valid.

SCO’s judgement matrix breaks down each judge’s opinion in the case.