Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ case: The Supreme Court of India today said observed it can’t go into the marital status of Kerala woman Hadiya. The three-judge bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra observed the National Investigative Agency cannot go into marital status of Hadiya, after saying that she is an adult, according to ANI. The bench headed by Chief Justice Misra said a “major” woman can’t be “forced” to live with her husband and only she has the right to decide on her choices.
The SC further said the NIA probe will have no bearing in deciding the aspects of the legitimacy of marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan which was annulled by Kerala High Court. Earlier, appearing for petitioner Shafin Jahan, who is the husband of Hadiya, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal asked for a probe under the supervision of a retired judge as ordered by the previous bench.
The apex court will further hear the matter on February 22. On the issue of whether a court can annul the marriage of the adults, the SC said it would deal with this question of law.
Meanwhile, A Raghunath, who is one of the counsel of Hadiya’s father said, “We expect the NIA to file a report and the court to permit the girl to continue her studies. We are happy that she is safe. Let’s see what happens”
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was to reportedly file another status report in the matter today.
Hadiya’s father had earlier alleged that his daughter was forcefully converted to Islam and marry the Muslim man. However, in November last year, Hadiya told the apex court that she wanted to be with her husband Shafin Jahan.
The case of the 24-year-old Kerala woman came to light after she became a Muslim, after her marriage to Jahan. Hadiya had claimed she married Jahan out of her own will and not forcibly.
Hadiya was born as Akhila Ashokan. The woman had also said that she wanted freedom and to see her husband after the top court asked whether she would prefer to continue studies.