Supreme Court upholds marriage in alleged case of "Love Jihad"

PTI11_28_2017_000218a Hadiya supreme court file pti

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud passed the judgment after lunch on the plea filed by Shafin Jahan, challenging the Kerala High Court order.

A three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, gave the ruling after NIA lawyer Maninder Singh told the Supreme Court that the agency's probe had nearly been concluded.

On October 3, the Supreme Court had said it would examine whether the high court could annul the marriage following a petition by her parents.

It has been a long road for Hadiya and Jahan, who met through a matrimonial website and got married in 2016.

Hadiya was known as Akhila Asokan before she converted. The apex court also said that Hadiya can't be sent to anyone's custody.

Ashokan later filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the Kerala High Court.

The apex court has said that it would examine whether the Kerala high court was correct in annulling Hadiya's marriage to a Muslim man.

Hadiya last month in an affidavit had informed the Apex Court that she embraced Islam and married to Shafin Jahan on her own will.

Hadiya with her husband Shafin Jahan.

An investigation was opened by the Supreme Court and she was summoned to testify if she was forced to convert.

In November 2017, the top court directed Hadiya to resume her internship, and that she was free to meet whomever she wanted. It ruled that Hadiya can complete studies and "freely follow her pursuits".

However, according to initial reports, the probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will continue into the accusations of "love jihad", but not of this particular marriage. The apex court freed her from her father's custody and ordered her institution to allow her to continue her education in November past year.

At the same time, the Supreme Court questioned if the Kerala High Court had the jurisdiction to annul the marriage of a Muslim man with a girl, a question it has answered today.

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