Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Supreme Court Sets Aside Kerala HC Decision, Restores Hadiya's Marriage

Supreme Court Sets Aside Kerala HC Decision, Restores Hadiya's Marriage

It has been a long road for Hadiya and Jahan, who met through a matrimonial website and got married in 2016.

India's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 25-year-old woman's freedom of choice, setting aside a lower court's order to annul her marriage because of allegations that she had been misled and brainwashed into adopting Islam as her religion.

The Kerala High Court had cancelled Hadiya's marriage with Shafin Jahan on a complaint by her father, who alleged that his daughter was a victim of "love jihad", the term used by right wing groups for accusing Muslim men of drawing Hindu women into relationships, converting them and eventually recruiting them for terrorism. The NIA, on the other hand, has said that its probe into the matter is nearly complete. Being consistent with their stand, the SC has, today, struck down the Kerala High Court's draconian order.

However, the Court also held that the ongoing investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the matter will continue. It then handed her to the custody of her parents in Kerala's Kottayam district. It ruled that Hadiya can complete studies and "freely follow her pursuits". Whether it is right or wrong, or she (Hadiya) did not marry a right person, it is for the consenting individuals to decide. Yet, one can not lose sight of the fact that Hadiya was repeatedly humiliated, her liberty restricted by the courts without any justification in law, shunted from one place to another, and treated like chattel. The apex court said that the government could stop people from going overseas for illegal activity but stressed its "worry" over the Kerala High Court annulling Hadiya's marriage. No, there isn't." Per a report in the website, the current chief justice of India, who had earlier observed that this was one of the "most complicated cases" he had come across, observed on Thursday: "We can not go into the neurological aspect of consent. The apex court also said that Hadiya can't be sent to anyone's custody.

Hadiya was known as Akhila Asokan before she converted.

Following the high court's order, Hadiya' husband moved to the Supreme Court challenging the ruling.

He was responding to an affidavit filed by his Kerala-based daughter Hadiya.

The court refused her permission to live with Shefin and asked the police to investigate all the facts of the marriage.

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