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Published On: Thu, Mar 8th, 2018

Hadiya’s Marriage Restored By Top Court

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67191-tyzgkcywvg-1504113742NEW DELHI:  Kerala woman Hadiya is free to live with her husband, the Supreme Court ruled today, cancelling a Kerala High Court order annulling the 24-year-old’s marriage to a Muslim man after converting to Islam. The judges said Hadiya is “at liberty free to pursue her endeavors,” stating that the High Court should not have intervened.
The Top Court on Thursday set aside the Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya in Kerala ‘love jihad’ case. The SC said that Hadiya can’t be in anyone’s custody and that she is free to follow her pursuits. “She can complete her studies, live with whosoever she wants. Nothing remained for the court to decide after she expressed her will,” an apex court bench said.
The court further added that she can’t be compelled to go or live with anyone. In May 2017, the Kerala High Court had declared Hadiya’s marriage “null and void” and described it as a case of ‘love jihad’. The HC said the marriage is a “sham and has no consequence in the eye of the law”.
The HC bench said, “A girl aged 24 years is weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways… Her marriage being the most important decision in her life can be taken only with the active involvement of her parents.”
The court also ordered the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state to conduct “comprehensive” investigation into cases of ‘Love Jihad’ and have the incidents of forcible conversion probed thoroughly.
The HC emphasised “the existence of an organizational set up functioning behind the scenes” in such cases of ‘Love Jihad’ and conversions while noting the “national interest is at stake”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud gave judgement today on a petition filed by Hadiya’s husband Shafin Jahan, challenging the High Court order annulling their marriage.

Earlier this week, Hadiya’s father had told the Supreme Court that his efforts prevented his daughter from being transported to “extremist-controlled territories” of Syria to be used as a “sex slave or a human bomb.”
His fresh appeal was in response to Hadiya telling the court last month that she converted to Islam of her own accord and wants to live her life as a Muslim. She said she had married Shafin Jahan of her own will and sought the court’s permission to “live as his wife.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Hadiya’s father Ashokan had told the court that she was being “psychologically and physically abducted”. This was in response to an affidavit filed by Hadiya. This over a month after the Supreme Court observed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) cannot probe the marital aspect of the Hadiya case.

“I embraced Islam on my choice as per my conscience and on my own free will, after studying about Islam and thereafter I married Shafin Jahan. I further pray that this court may be kind enough to appoint my husband as my guardian,” said Hadiya, said in an affidavit filed in court, stating that she “continues to live in confinement.”
Hadiya had met Shafin Jahan, who was working in Oman and had returned to India recently, through a matrimonial website affiliated to an organisation which the National Investigation Agency says it is probing for links to terror.
The Supreme Court had said earlier this year Hadiya is an adult and so her marriage to Shafin Jahan cannot be questioned. It also said that while the NIA can continue to investigate Mr Jahan, it cannot investigate the legitimacy of her marriage. (With Agency Inputs ).

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