Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

India Supreme Court restores 'love jihad' marriage

Hadiya's marriage restored Hadiya free to live with husband: SC
Glenn Montgomery | 10 March, 2018, 01:51

The Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday upholding the validity of the marriage of a young Hindu adult in Kerala, Akhila Asokan, who converted to Islam in 2016 and took the Islamic name of Hadiya, and married a young Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, in July, is important on several grounds.

It was during the hearing of this case, where Supreme Court had asked the National Investigation Agency to investigate what the Kerala High Court has observed about the conversions and marriages by organizations while asking Hadiya about her opinion on her marriage with Shefin Jahan.

Ms. Hadiya was particularly happy that the apex court judgment validating her marriage came on a day when the world was celebrating the International Women's Day.

Hadiya is free to live with her husband, the Supreme Court said, cancelling the Kerala High Court order annulling the 24-year-old's marriage to a Muslim man after converting to Islam. If there is forced conversion or marriage on false grounds, it must be duly established in court.

Asokan however said that he was satisfied that the court had allowed the National Investigation Agency to continue with the investigations into the Love Jihad cases in Kerala.

"She (Hadiya) appeared before this Court on November 27, 2017, and admitted her marriage with appellant No.1".

"We clarify that the investigation by the NIA in respect of any matter of criminality may continue in accordance with law", the court said.

The order also came on a day when Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh for NIA said that it had issued look-out circulars for two witnesses F Musthafa and S Shahana who "initiated" Hadiya into Islam. "But where there are two consenting adults, can we go into the justness of the marriage?" he said.

But Shefin Jahan approached the Supreme Court against the high court order. "There is an inherent jurisdiction in a court of law to annul a marriage in an appropriate case", he said, arguing that the expanding concept of law takes into account the question of "marriage frauds". On this basis, one may presume that either the Court was satisfied by the lawful nature of the marriage, or that the respondents in the present case failed to submit conclusive evidence against the lawful nature of the marriage. "We have interacted with the girl", Justice Misra said.

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