Judgement Analysis: S. Sushama and Ors. v Commissioner of Police and Ors.

The author of this article is Anjum Salina, from Sultan-Ul-Uloom College of Law, affiliated with Osmania University.

Name of the case-

S. Sushama and Ors. v Commissioner of Police and Ors.[1]

Court Name-

High Court of Madras

Quorum- 
 
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Krishna S. Dixit 
 
Citation-
Reference: W.P. No. 7284 of 2021[2]
 
Plaintiff-
S. Sushma
 
Respondent-
Director General of Police
 
Facts of the case:

Petitioner 1, aged 22, had obtained a B.Sc. Mathematics and currently pursuing M.B.A, while Petitioner 2 is 20 years old and was pursuing B.A.

The petitioners were lesbian. Both petitioners have known one another for the past two years. They both simultaneously stated that they love one another and wish to be a pair.

The petitioner’s parents were against their relationship, as the tension began to build up, the petitioners left for Chennai. The FIR was registered by their parents as their children were missing. Turns out the petitioners were looking for financial help in Chennai, they were looking for a job.

Submission by the Petitioner

It has been submitted by counsel that the petitioners are safe and supervised by the NGO and that the petitioners also spoke regularly with their parents.

Apart from that, after the court’s intervention, there was no threat from the police. The petitioners have filed another request before the court to issue certain guidelines to cope with similar cases in order that people in same-sex relationships are treated with dignity and ensure their safety.

Submission by the Respondent

It was filed by counsel for respondents feeling humiliated, threatened and socially contemptuous because of their daughter’s same-sex relationship. It was also determined in court that both parents feel they had been abandoned because their daughters had not paid attention to their emotions. Both parents, out of hopelessness, are willing to let go of their children to live the way they want.

They have also expressed concerns for the safety of their children, and their homosexuality would harm them shortly.

The Counsel has also argued that the petitioners are in constant contact with their parents and have frequent telephone contact.

Issue

It was examined by the court as follow:

  • whether the Petitioners and respondents, who also are their parents, should be entrusted to a Counselor specialized in LGBTQ+ affairs.

Court’s reasoning and judgement

  • Counsel for both parties pleads with the court for the continuation of the case, as the court has spoken with both the applicant and the defendant.[3]
  • The Counsel also trusted that it would be easy for both parties to resolve their grievances through court oversight of the case at the earliest.
  • The Counsel has also stated in court that the police may no longer interfere with this and that complaints will be closed immediately.
  • The court, after hearing the arguments advanced by both parties, would be wise to refer the parties to legal counsel and send a report to the court on or before April 26, 2021.
  • The court also informed respondents to maintain the status quo and that their children would continue to be under the protection of NGOs.
  • The court asked the mediation judge to allocate two separate cabins so that the parents can personally communicate with their daughters in the mediation centre for an hour.
  • After spending a lot of time with both parties, the court concluded that they would work towards a peaceful solution.
  • The respondents had only one request to the court to have frequent contact with their children, which was later accepted by the petitioners.
  • In promulgating the verdict, the court thought it would try to break through the preconceived ideas and develop at the same time through sincere efforts to understand the feelings of the plaintiffs and respondents and then write a detailed order on this matter.

Conclusion

The present case deals with the issue of the same-sex couple not being accepted by their families. The court in this case allowed the couple to live together and simultaneously allowed the parties of the suits to resolve the dispute themselves.

The court later in its judgment stated that it wanted to break preconceived notions and was trying to understand the feelings of the Petitioners and Respondents, which happen to be the parents of petitioners, before writing a detailed order on this issue.

The court also stated that it is making an effort to understand the issue by undertaking research and collecting materials. The court aimed to build the case little by little, to build something purposeful on this matter.


[1]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S_Sushma_v._Commissioner_of_Police#Trial

[2]   S. Sushama and Ors. v Commissioner of Police and Ors. W.P. No. 7284 of 2021

[3] https://www.lawyersclubindia.com/judiciary/s-sushma-v-director-general-of-police-29th-march-2021-the-present-case-deals-with-the-issue-of-same-sex-couples-and-non-acceptance-of-the-same-by-their-families-5144.asp

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