Same-sex marriage, survey
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Same-sex marriage: After BCI, Delhi lawyers oppose hearing; Mahua Moitra speaks up

A day after the Bar Council of India (BCI) passed a resolution to request the Supreme Court to leave the same-sex marriage issue for the legislature to deal with, a Delhi Bar Associations panel passed a similar resolution on Monday (April 24).

The co-ordination committee of the All District Courts Bar Associations of Delhi expressed displeasure at the day-to-day hearing by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on the plea to recognise same-sex marriages.

“There are certain issues that are deeply entrenched in societal norms, values, and beliefs. These issues require careful consideration and public debate, as any decision or action taken without societal acceptance may have far-reaching consequences,” the panel stated.

BCI’s resolution

The BCI on Sunday (April 23) appealed to the apex court to not deliver a ruling in the same-sex marriage case, saying any change in the legal structure should only come from the legislature. The lawyers believe that the issue “is highly sensitive…criticised by various sections of society…for being a social experiment, engineered by a selected few…in addition to…being socially and morally compunctive.”

Also read: Same-sex marriage: No data to support Centre’s remark it being ‘urban concept’, says SC

According to the BCI, “ever since the inception of human civilization and culture, marriage has been typically accepted and categorized as a union of biological man and woman for the twin purpose of procreation and recreation” and “it would be catastrophic to overhaul something as fundamental as the conception of marriage by any law court”.

“More than 99.9% of people of the country are opposed to ‘the idea of same-sex marriage’… The vast majority believes that any decision of the apex court in petitioners’ favour on this issue will be treated to be against the culture and socio-religious structure of our country,” said the resolution issued after a joint meeting of BCI with all the state bar councils.

Mahua Moitra’s tweets

Reacting to the BCI’s resolution, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Monday lashed out at the lawyers’ body in a series of tweets. “Gentlemen – have you truly lost your minds? You are oath bound to protect constitutional morality, not popular sentiment. Even if 1 person’s freedom is encroached on, SC bound to hear it,” she started her tweets directed at BCI.

Sharing a copy of the BCI’s resolution, Moitra continued, “Bar Council of India – You are regulatory body whose job is to oversee advocates’ conduct NOT interfere in administration of justice in an ongoing case. Maybe if BCI held timely elections you wouldn’t even be in your seats in your little boy’s club with no women. Shame!”

She completed her series by writing: “India world’s largest democracy with 49% women population. Bar Council of “India” however, is all male body which hasn’t held elections for longest time. And BCI lecturing SC on what “99% of Indians want.” Gentlemen, enough already. Zip it.”

Also read: Same-sex marriage hearing | No absolute concept of man or woman: CJI

Delhi lawyers’ contention

However, on the same day, the Delhi Bar Associations panel came up with a similar resolution as the BCI, saying certain issues are too complex and have far-reaching consequences to be left to the discretion of the courts.

According to the lawyers, such issues require a broad-based consensus that can only be arrived at through public debate and discussion and, therefore, should be left to the legislature.

(With agency inputs)

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