On Wednesday, July 10, the five-judge panel, which includes Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Hima Kohli, BV Nagarathna, and PS Narasimha, is expected to hear the batch of pleas that request a review of the court’s decision from the previous year that denied same-sex marriage legal recognition. The pleas were not allowed to be heard in open court by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A five-judge constitution bench led by Justice Chandrachud rejected same-sex marriage on October 17 of last year, stating that there was “no unqualified right” to marriage except for those that are recognized by law. This decision dealt a blow to advocates for LGBT rights.

However, the Supreme Court has made a strong case for the rights of LGBT people, arguing that they should not be denied access to goods and services that are available to others, that safe houses, or “Garima Greh,” should be established in every district to shelter community members who are being harassed or violently attacked, and that they should have hotline numbers they can call in case of emergency.

Senior attorneys NK Kaul and Abhishek Singhvi brought up the issue on Tuesday and urged the CJI to hear the review petitions in open court. Kaul questioned the court, saying, “I say that if these petitions can be considered in the open court”.

Four different verdicts on a batch of twenty-one petitions asking for legal approval for same-sex marriages were rendered by the five-judge constitution bench, presided over by Chief Justice Chandrachud. All five judges agreed since the beginning of the case that same-sex marriages should not be recognized legally under the Special Marriage Act, noting that Parliament had the authority to amend the law to allow for the validation of such unions.

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