Hadiya An Adult, NIA Cannot Probe Her Marriage: SC
The controversial case of Kerala-based Hadiya’s marriage has taken a new turn. The apex court has put a stop to the National Investigation Agency’s interference in her marital status.
The Supreme Court Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra, said that right fringe groups cannot label this case as one of ‘love jihad’. It added that the NIA can continue its probe into other cases of alleged love jihad in the state, but cannot include Hadiya’s case in it. As an adult woman of 24 years of age, she accepted that she willfully married her husband during the previous court hearing, the bench said.
“She told us in court she is married. We can’t question the legitimacy of her marriage,” said the bench comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Misra.
The CJI said, “Whether the man to whom she is married is good or not is for her to decide…Whether it’s independent choice or not, only she knows. If she comes to court and says she is married by her choice, that’s the end of it…”
“We are not concerned with it (probe). Whether you (NIA) carry on your investigation or arrest someone, we are not concerned,” added the bench. It also mentioned that it would hear a habeas corpus plea about the Kerala High Court’s ruling of annulling the marriage and if that was the correct decision or not. The next hearing on the case is scheduled for February 22.
“Whether the man to whom she is married is good or not is for her to decide…Whether its independent choice or not, only she knows. If she comes to court and says she is married by her choice, that’s the end of it…”
At the last hearing, the SC bench heard Hadiya’s side of the story. She claimed that she married Shafin Jahan out of her own will. Hadiya also expressed her desire to have her husband as her guardian. While the court agreed to her marriage, the bench refuted the idea of letting her husband become her guardian. They have sent Hadiya back to complete her studies while making her college dean as her guardian.
The case gained national attention when Hadiya, who was born into a Hindu family, converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim man. This angered her parents who demanded that the court annul the marriage. Then her parents kept her under siege until the SC asked them to produce her in an open court for her version.
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