Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Shefin Jahan, Hadiya head to Kerala following SC order

Shefin Jahan, Hadiya head to Kerala following SC order

THE SUPREME Court Thursday set aside the Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya, a 25-year-old Hindu woman who converted to Islam two years ago, to a Muslim man and said she was free to "pursue her future endeavours in accordance with the law".

Jahan had moved the apex court after the Kerala high court annulled the marriage.

Justice Chandrachud said that even assuming that Hadiya was to be sent to West Asia to join a terror outfit, the government could always revoke her passport and impose travel curbs.

The order also referred to Hadiya personally appearing before the Supreme Court on November 27 and admitting to her marriage with Shafin Jahan, who had challenged the High Court order that nullified the marriage.

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A source from the college shared with DC that she has requested not to have police protection for now. The top court, however, maintained that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) can continue its investigations into whether there was any criminality involved, but it shouldn't probe into the marriage. Significantly, the HC had also directed "comprehensive" investigation into cases of "love jihad" and has incidents of forced conversion probed thoroughly. "But where there are two consenting adults, can we go into the justness of the marriage?" he said. On this basis, one may presume that either the Court was satisfied by the lawful nature of the marriage, or that the respondents in the present case failed to submit conclusive evidence against the lawful nature of the marriage. He said that public law has evolved to account for situations where a marriage may be meant to defeat a state interest or even a private interest. We must do everything to protect it...

Justice Misra said: "Let us assume for a moment that in the extreme event the marriage is a disguise to commit an offence".

The single-bench Judge noting such activities said, "the fact remains that such activities are going on around us in our society", while giving Hadiya's custody to her parents annulling her marriage.

Singh urged the court not to take the case lightly saying it was "not a one-off case, there was a common pattern and modus operandi for luring vulnerable girls to convert to Islam by feigning love and the same group of people, who have been identified by the NIA, was behind it".

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