Mr. Joydeep Sengupta is a Canadian Citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India. (OCI)
Mr. Russell Blaine Stephens is an American citizen. They both got married in New York on August 6, 2012, and currently live in Paris.
They are legally married couple in the U.S., France, and Canada, where they have primarily lived and worked in the last 20 years.
Since Mr. Sengupta is an OCI, Mr.Stephens also wanted to apply for the OCI status under the Citizenship Act, as the spouse of an OCI cardholder, this was rejected.
Advocate Karuna Nundy, representing the couple, stated that their petition was seeking a declaration that the Foreign Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act be read in accordance with the Constitution.
The petition stated that ‘Right to marry’ is a personal choice, and comes within the ambit of privacy and autonomy of Article 21.
It was further stated that the OCI application, being denied merely on the grounds that they were a homosexual couple, is discriminatory.
A bench of the High Court consisting of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti, issued a notice to Centre on the basis of this new petition.
The Bench stated that this petition would be heard along with the other 4 petitions which are pending before the court, seeking a special status for the recognition of same-sex marriage in India.