Learn about the implementation of the controversial Nepal Citizenship Act and the recent Supreme Court ruling.
In a groundbreaking decision, Nepal’s Supreme Court has issued an interim order mandating the registration of marriages for gender minority couples. The directive was handed down by Judge Til Prasad Shrestha in response to a case filed by Pinki Gurung against the office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
Advocates Premchandra Rai, Anurag Devkota, Raunaka Raj Aryal, and Pukar Dahal represented the petitioner, presenting compelling arguments during the proceedings. As part of the ruling, the Supreme Court has instructed the defendants to submit a written response via the Attorney General’s Office within 15 days from the date of receiving the order.
The court has also provided the office of the Attorney General with a copy of the petition and a notice of the retention period. It has been emphasized that if a written response is received within the stipulated timeframe or after the deadline has passed, it must be submitted according to the established rules.
This landmark decision aligns with Article 12 of the Constitution of Nepal, which allows for obtaining a certificate of citizenship based on gender identity. Furthermore, Article 69(1) of the Civil Code of Nepal, 2074 asserts the freedom of every individual to marry, while Article 18 of the Constitution ensures equality for all citizens under the law. To facilitate the necessary arrangements for registration, an interim order has been issued to the defendants, petitioners, and spouses resembling the petitioners under Rule 49(2) of the Supreme Court Rules, 2074. This ensures the preservation of temporary records of the marriages, as stated in the order.
This development follows a writ petition filed last January by the organization Mitini Nepal, which sought the legalization of same-sex marriage. Claiming that the existing legal system permitting marriage solely between men and women is discriminatory, the organization demanded equal recognition for same-sex marriages. With the Supreme Court’s latest ruling, significant progress has been made toward achieving marriage equality for gender minority couples in Nepal.