In a relief to an alleged victim of love jihad, Hadiya, the Supreme Court today set aside the Kerala High Court order annulling her marriage to a Muslim man.
Immediately after this, reacting to the verdict, KM Asokan, Hadiya’s father, said that he would consider moving a review petition in the Supreme Court against its judgement.
"Will consider filing a review petition," he told reporters, reacting to the ruling by the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
He maintained that his daughter's marriage with Shafin Jahan was an act of "adjustment" done by a group.
The High Court had annulled the marriage on a habeas corpus petition filed by Asokan, who hails from Vaikom in Kottayam district.
"It was a kind of an adjustment marriage. There is no doubt. I will try to convince the court about it once again," he said.
He, however, expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court stating that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) may continue its investigation in the matter.
"The Supreme Court has not cancelled NIA investigation in the matter. The court took such a decision because... Shafin Jahan could be an extremist. Investigation is going on in the case," he said.
He also said it was painful for a father to send his daughter with an 'extremist'.
"There is no words to explain it," Asokan said.
Following is the chronology of events of the case:
May 24, 2017: Kerala HC declares "null and void" the marriage of 24-year-old Hadiya, a Muslim convert, allegedly performed after she was abducted and wrongfully confined in an "illegal Islamic conversion centre" in Malappuram district.
Aug 4: SC seeks reply of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Kerala govt on a plea of Shafin Jahan challenging HC order annulling his marriage with Hadiya.
Aug 10: NIA moves SC seeking an order to probe various aspects of Jahan's plea. SC orders Kerala Police to share with NIA the probe details of the case described by the HC as an instance of "love jihad".
Aug 16: SC orders NIA to probe the case of conversion and marriage of Hadiya to Jahan, as the agency claims a "pattern" was emerging in Kerala.
September 20: Plea in SC seeking recall of its order directing the NIA to investigate the case.
October 3: SC says it would examine whether HC can exercise its power under writ jurisdiction to annul the marriage of a Muslim man with a Hindu woman who had converted to Islam before tying the nuptial knot.
October 7: Kerala govt tells SC that Muslim marriage case didn't warrant NIA probe.
October 30: SC asks Hadiya's father to produce her on November 27.
November 21: Hadiya's father moves SC for in-camera proceedings.
November 22: SC refuses urgent hearing for in-camera proceedings.
November 23: NIA files status report of probe in SC.
November 27: SC frees Hadiya from her parents' custody, sends her to college to pursue her studies, even as she pleaded that she should be allowed to go with her husband.
January 23, 2018: SC says it was concerned about the choice of an adult to marry someone and made it clear that the NIA cannot probe the marital status of the couple.
February 20: Hadiya files affidavit in SC saying she had willingly converted to Islam and wanted to remain a Muslim. She also sought for permission to live as Jahan's wife.
February 22: SC questions whether the HC could nullify a marriage and if a roving inquiry could be ordered into the issue of consent between two adults to marry.
March 7: Hadiya's father files affidavit in SC claiming that his efforts prevented his daughter from being transported to "extremist-controlled territories" of Syria to be used as a "sex slave or a human bomb".
March 8: SC restores Hadiya's marriage with Shafin Jahan, sets aside Kerala HC's annulment order. SC also allows NIA to continue its probe in the matter.
With Agency Inputs