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Kerala 'love jihad' case: Supreme Court says can't question legitimacy of Hadiya's marriage, marital status can't be probed

A three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra observed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) cannot go into marital status of Hadiya.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: January 23, 2018 12:35 IST ]
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it can't question the legitimacy of Hadiya's marriage which was annulled by Kerala High Court. A three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra observed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) cannot go into marital status of Hadiya, a 24-year-old who has been in the headlines after she became a Muslim, following her marriage to Shafin Jahan.

"We are not concerned with it (probe). Whether you carry on your investigation or arrest someone, we are not concerned," the bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said. 

"You can investigate it but you cannot investigate about their marital status," the bench said. 

The bench also observed that it would examine whether the Kerala High Court was correct in annulling the marriage while hearing a Habeas Corpus petition. 

"We are only concerned with the choice of an adult to marry someone," the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on February 22. 

A Raghunath, 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".

Earlier, Hadiya's father had alleged that his daughter was forcefully converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man. However, in November last year, Hadiya told the apex court that she wanted to be with her husband Shafin Jahan. Hadiya said she had married Jahan out of her own will and not forcibly.

During the course of the hearing, Hadiya, who was born as Akhila Ashokan, also said she wanted freedom and to see her husband after the top court asked whether she would prefer to continue studies.

The apex court has now directed Hadiya, who currently is in the custody of her parents, to be taken to college for her studies and that college should allow hostel facility to her. The court also ordered Hadiya's college dean to be her guardian after she requested for it.

The apex court has been hearing Hadiya's case after Jahan approached the top court following Kerala High Court, annulling his marriage with Hadiya.

While Hadiya's parents have been alleging that her marriage was a case of love jihad and that she was converted to Islam forcibly, Hadiya has refuted these claims so far.

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