Hadiya case: SC to examine if HC can annul marriage

Hadiya case: SC to examine if HC can annul marriage

The Supreme Court will Tuesday examine the Kerala High Court nullifying the marriage between Akhila alias Hadiya, who is an alleged victim of love jihad and religious conversion, and Shafeen Jahan, who is a native of Kollam.

Hearing a petition filed by a Kerala man-Shefin Jahan, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra said, "The question is whether an HC on an Article 226 petition can annul the marriage".

The bench also wondered whether the 24-year-old woman could be forced to live in her father's custody.

The top court in August had directed an NIA probe under the supervision of a retired apex court judge into issues raised by a Muslim man whose marriage was annulled by the Kerala High Court that described the case as an instance of "love jihad".

The court would now hear the case on October 9.

At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Shafin Jahan who has sought recall of the order asking the NIA to probe the case, started his arguments on a high pitch, which led the bench to ask him not to shout.

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Jahan, who had married a Hindu woman in last December, had moved the apex court after the Kerala high court annulled his marriage, saying it was an insult to the independence of women in the country. The court has questioned the Kerala High Court's ruling in the case.

The Kerala HC had nullified their marriage calling it a "sham" in May this year, after Hadiya's father approached the court alleging that there were efforts to take her to Syria to join an Islamic extremist outfit. "Your Lordships have gone beyond the jurisdiction and expanded the proceedings by ordering NIA probe".

Hadiya, who was born as Akhila Ashokan, is in her father's custody in Thiruvananthapuram, with many activists alleging that she is being tortured by her family. "The state did not file an appeal and father also did not do so", he contended.

He said despite Justice Raveendran declining to supervise the probe, the NIA was preceding with the investigation and it was reported that the NIA has already found a "link".

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has submitted all the up to date details of the investigation in the Court.

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