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Same-Sex Couple Moves SC Challenging Kerala HC Order Directing Counselling Sessions

The Petitioner challenged Kerala High Court`s January 13, 2023 order whereby the High Court directed one of them to attend counselling sessions with a psychiatrist so far as her sexual orientation is concerned. 

Same-Sex Couple Moves SC Challenging Kerala HC Order Directing Counselling Sessions

New Delhi: A same-sex couple has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Kerala High Court order directing one of them to attend counselling sessions with a psychiatrist. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the plea on Monday. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asked the petitioner`s lawyer to keep the brief ready and said it will hear the matter at the end of the board.

Petitioner`s counsel Advocate Sriram P mentioned the plea before the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing. The Petitioner challenged Kerala High Court`s January 13, 2023 order whereby the High Court directed one of them to attend counselling sessions with a psychiatrist so far as her sexual orientation is concerned. In the petition, the same-sex couple said that they are female as per their gender orientation and they both wish to get married and be together. But the parents of the detenu have kept the detenu in illegal custody against her will so as to impede the marriage between the petitioner and the detenu.

Advocate Sriram said that the petitioner sought to invoke the basic principle of Habeas Corpus and sought the detenu to be produced before the court physically. According to the petitioner, the detenu was present through video conferencing before Kerala High Court whereby she clearly told the High Court that she is in love with the petitioner and the detenu wanted to come with the petitioner and live happily with her ever after."The High Court erroneously sought the detenu to be sent for counselling. The counselling impugned herein is obviously counselling to change her sexual orientation.

It is most respectfully submitted that this counseling is proscribed under the law and the High Courts of Madras, Uttarakhand and Odisha have specifically and categorically followed the law laid down by this High Court prohibited it," the petitioner said. The plea said the petitioner is in letter and spirit challenging the interim orders dated January 24, 2023 and February 2, 2023, all of which denied the petitioner her fundamental rights.

These orders have denied the detenu safety and liberty for a long period from January 9, 2023, to the present day, the petitioner said."The present Special Leave Petition carries a substantial question of law among many others. Whether the High Court ought to have allowed the detenu the right to be heard physically in the safety and security of the building of the High Court," the petition said, adding that the plea also raised the question of law as to whether "gender orientation counselling" is legal or not.

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