Kerala 'love jihad' case: NIA cannot probe 24-year-old Hadiya's marital status, rules Supreme Court

In a major development in Kerala's Hadiya case, which has also been dubbed as the "love jihad" case, a a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the CJI has observed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) cannot probe 24-year-old's marital status.

The court said that the NIA probe will not have any bearing on the legitimacy of Hadiya's marriage to Shafin Jahan which was annulled by Kerala High Court. The apex court will continue to hear the matter on 22 February.

The court also observed that a major woman cannot be forced to live with her parents and only Hadiya has the right to decide where she wants to live, reported CNN-News18. The NIA, for its part, told the apex court that it has made substantial progress in its probe into the alleged "love jihad" case.

In December, Hadiya, the woman at the centre of an alleged 'love jihad' case, met her husband at her homeopathic medical college in Salem. The 24-year-old, according The News Minute, met her husband under CCTV surveillance, after an year of separation as the Kerala High Court had annulled their marriage. The court had termed the marriage as an instance of 'love jihad', following which Jahan approached the Supreme court.

File image of Hadiya. Reuters

File image of Hadiya. Reuters

“The meeting was so emotional. Hadiya was so happy. She had a lot to share with me as we were meeting after a long time,” Jahan was quoted as saying by The News Minute.

Jahan visited Hadiya along with two others, including his lawyer, The Indian Express quoted the college sources as saying. The report added that the college authorities allowed the meeting after both Jahan and Hadiya sought permission.

Born Akhila, Hadiya had converted to Islam and married Jahan while still studying. The court had appointed the dean of the college as Hadiya's guardian and granted him liberty to approach it in case of any problem. She had earlier stayed at her parental home in Kochi for several weeks. In an interim order on a petition by Jahan challenging the high court verdict, the Supreme Court had on 27 November set Hadiya free from the custody of her parents. The apex court, however, did not accept her plea to be allowed to go with her husband.

Hadiya's father on 30 November had claimed that some persons were trying to "interrupt" his daughter's studies and that he would approach the court to protect her.

KM Asokan had said that the Supreme Court had directed that his daughter go to the homoeopathy medical college in Tamil Nadu with a purpose to allow her to complete her studies and any move to interrupt it would be an offence. Claiming that his daughter had been "brainwashed" to go to Syria, Asokan, a former army man, said he had no issues with whatever faith his daughter wanted to follow.

With inputs from agencies

Published Date: Jan 24, 2018 06:29 AM | Updated Date: Jan 24, 2018 06:33 AM

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