India to form committee to examine problems same-sex couples face

Television journalists are seen outside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi

By Arpan Chaturvedi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will set up a committee to look into the problems gay couples face in their day-to-day life, the government told the country's top court on Wednesday during arguments for same-sex unions to be recognised.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has opposed demands to legalise same-sex marriages, some from gay couples, on the grounds that such marriages are not "comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children."

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that a committee headed by the country's top bureaucrat would look into practical problems faced by gay couples in their day-to-day life and try to look for an administrative solution.

Mehta however did not signal any change in the government position.

The government would also like the petitioners to give the committee solutions and suggestions, Mehta said.

The petitioners have argued that without legal recognition of being married, they are denied rights such as those linked to medical consent, pensions, adoption or even simpler things like club memberships for couples.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud has been hearing the case since last month.

(Reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi, writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)