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Marriage Petitions

I. Introduction

At last count, there were 9 marriage petitions pending in various Indian High courts. Collectively, these petitions mount a multi-faceted attack on various Indian marriage laws for their failure to provide for queer marriages, either expressly or implicitly. In this blog, I identify the specific laws under challenge and summarise the main grounds of those legal challenges.

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Veera Yadav v The Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar and Ors (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No. 5627 of 2020)

1. The Petition

This case followed the S. Sushma style of continuing mandamus issued by the court to monitor the progress on the NALSA directives, among other things. The cause of action was the denial of rations to certain portions of the transgender community during COVID. The petition, filed in the High Court of Patna in May 2020, prayed for 25 kgs. of rations for all members of the transgender community, monetary assistance for six months’ rent, a speedy grievance redressal system, and a one-stop facilitation centre. In this blog, I will summarise the proceedings under this petition.

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Matman Gangabhavani v State of Andhra Pradesh and Ors WP No 16770 of 2019 (AP High Court)

Does a public appointment advertisement that fails to include transgender persons violate the constitution and offend the NALSA reservation direction? A single judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court was faced with this particular question in this instance. Summarily, he found that though such advertisement offends equality, it does not violate the NALSA reservation direction because of certain context specific reasons. In this blog, I will deal with the equality analysis and the reservation analysis of the court.

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S. Sushma and Others v. Director General of Police and Others WP 7284/2021 (December Hearings)

PART I

Previously

This blogpost pertains to the December hearings in the S. Sushma case. To recap, the case originally concerned a lesbian couple who had run away from their homes to be together. They approached the Madras High Court as they were being harassed by the police and their parents although they were adults who had left of their own volition. Through a writ of mandamus, the court ordered the police to close the missing persons cases that had been filed by the parents of the couple, and passed other orders to central and state governments, and regulatory bodies (June order). The orders are wide-ranging and cover a host of issues that arise when queer life intersects with societal and legal authority structures. The court has kept the case open and hears it from time to time to gauge the progress on its orders and issue new ones, in a PIL-style continuing mandamus.

This is Part I of a two part blog. In this part, I will focus on certain substantive matters dealt with by the court in December. The next part will carry a summary of compliance measures taken by various authorities.

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S.Sushma v. DGP, Tamil Nadu and Ors WP No. 7281/2021 (August 2021 Hearing)

The August Order

In this blogpost, I will provide an update on the subsequent hearings in the S. Sushma case. Summarily, that case concerned a lesbian couple who had run away from their homes and had filed a writ of mandamus in the Madras High Court seeking protection from harassment, both, from the police, and their parents. The court had ordered accordingly (‘June Order’). A detailed discussion of that order is here. Further, the court had also issued certain directions to the police, centre and state authorities, and various regulatory bodies.  The court treated the case as a continuing mandamus and provided a future date to check up on the implementation of its directions.

In the next few blogposts, I will scrutinize what came to pass in those subsequent hearings. This blogpost concerns the hearing on 31st August, 2021.

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Hina Haneefa v State of Kerala and Ors WP (C) 23404/2020 (A) Kerala High Court

On the 15th of March, 2021, a single bench of the Kerala High Court issued a writ of mandamus to the National Cadet Corps to permit the applicant, a transgender woman, to apply as a candidate under the female category. This case provided an opportunity for the interpretation of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights)Act, 2019 (2019 Act). Specifically, this case was crucial in holding that there were two rights granted under the 2019 Act: gender recognition and gender identity. They were distinct and came into operation at different times. In this blog, I will summarize the facts of the case, the arguments of the parties, and the decision of the court.

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