Hadiya case: SC to examine whether HC can annul marriage

Tabitha Dunn
October 4, 2017

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra questioned a Kerala high court order in May that scrapped the marriage between 24-year-old Hadiya, who converted to Islam, and Shafin Jahan.

In the latest development in the Kerala "love jihad" case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will examine as to whether High Court can annul the marriage by exercising its writ powers.

While hearing a plea of Shafin Jahan from Kerala, the Supreme Court on 3rd October said that a father can not dictate the personal life of a 24-year-old daughter.

Shafeen Jahan, husband of a woman in the Kerala Love Jihad case, on September 16 filed a plea requesting the apex court to call off the NIA probe, alleging that the investigation agency "is not being fair". Jahan, in turn, pleaded with the Supreme Court to cancel the NIA probe.

According to sources, Hadiya, who was known as Akhila before conversion, is holed up at her house near Kottayam, forcibly by her parents.

The bench also wondered whether the 24-year-old woman could be placed in her father's custody.

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Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, who appeared in the court in place of ASG Maninder Singh representing the NIA.said all the objections being raised now by Dave had already been raised by senior counsel Kapil Sibal who had represented Jahan earlier and the same were considered by the court before ordering the NIA investigation.

Raising his voice, Dave said the apex court had exceeded jurisdiction and must recall order.

The commission came into the picture when feminists, intellectuals, free thinkers, and Muslim women organisations complained that Hadiya's parents were holding her against her will at home. The HC had termed the marriage, performed in December last as "Love Jihad".

"This NIA probe shakes the very foundation of this multi-religious country".

The NIA's preliminary report submitted to the top court had hunted that it did not appear to be an isolated case and required further investigation. "It might send the girl to a custodian or an organisation", the top court said. It was alleged that the woman was recruited by the ISIS's mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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