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What ‘the learned judge wanted to say’: SC severely limits infamous ‘sex equals marriage’ judgement

The Supreme Court has finally avenged social media’s June 2013 furore over Madras high court justice CS Karnan’s “sex equals marriage” judgment, by holding that that judgment was only applicable one-off to the facts of the case it decided.

Advocate Uday Gupta, through senior advocate MR Calla, had appealed against the June judgment on the ground that it was not “legally tenable” to say that “a valid marriage does not necessarily mean that all the customary rights pertaining to the married couple are to be followed and subsequently solemnized”, as was stated in that judgment.

A Supreme Court bench of justices BS Chauhan and J Chelameswar said:

“We are of the view that such observations have been made in the facts of that case. In fact, what the learned judge wanted to say is that if a man and woman are living together for a long time as husband and wife, though never married, there would be a presumption of marriage and their children could not be called to be illegitimate. Such a view stands fully fortified by a very large number of judgments.”

“In view of the nature of the order we propose to pass, we do not consider it necessary to issue notice to anyone,” added the bench putting the controversy officially to rest in a 3 page judgement.

Read full judgment here

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