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Unmarried or Queer relationships to be considered as a family: Held by SC

A Bench comprised of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna held that all are familial connections- whether domestic, in unmarried partnerships or LGBTQ relationships, adoption, fostering, or remarriage need to be recognised by the law. The Supreme Court ruled that domestic partnerships, unmarried couples, and homosexual relationships must all fall under the definition of “traditional family” as it is now understood in law and society.

“It is not acceptable to discriminate against non-traditional families using the black letter of the law. Without a doubt, the same is true for women who plays the role of motherhood in ways that may not correspond to popular perceptions, “added Justice Chandrachud.

The findings are noteworthy because, since the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality in 2018, activists have been pressing for the recognition of LGBT marriages and civil unions as well as the right of live-in couples to adopt. According to the Bench, a family may have a single parent for a variety of reasons, such as the demise of a spouse, a separation, or a divorce. Similar to this, it stated that remarriage, adoption, or foster care could result in a change in the guardians and caretakers of children (who normally play the roles of “mother” and “father”).

A working woman cannot be denied her legal right to maternity leave for her biological child just because her husband had two children from a previous marriage and she used the time to care for one of them, the top court stated in its ruling.

“Although several Rules of 1972 regulations have made it possible for women to work in paid employment, women are still primarily responsible for child care. According to Rule 43 of the Rules of 1972, the appellant’s receipt of child care leave cannot be utilised to revoke her right to maternity leave “It stated. According to the top court, the facts of the current case further show that the appellant’s family structure changed when she assumed parental responsibilities for her spouse’s biological children from his previous marriage.

“PGIMER encountered circumstances when the appellant asked for maternity leave that the law might not have anticipated or fully accounted for. When courts are faced with such circumstances, they would be wise to strive to give effect to the law’s intended purpose as opposed to blocking its application “The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s ruling was overturned, the Bench ruled.

Legalobserver Desk
Legalobserver Desk
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