Don't link Hadiya case and NIA probe into alleged forced conversions: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Thursday said the controversial marriage of Kerala resident Hadiya and an NIA investigation into alleged forced conversions of women in the state cannot be mixed up, prima facie agreeing to allow the girl at the centre of a love jihad row to join her husband Shafin Jahan.
There has to be compartmentalisation between marriage and investigation... You may investigate anything under the sun but the probe cannot come in contact with the relationship between the two.
We are only restricting ourselves to the issue whether the High Court in a habeus corpus petition can declare marriage between two consenting adults as null and void. Thats all and nothing beyond that. Prima facie we do not agree with the High Court judgment, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra told Shyam Divan, the lawyer for Asokan KM, Hadiyas father, who is trying to prevent any order allowing her daughter to join Jahan.
Hadiya, a 24-year-old homeopathy student, was born Hindu and was called Akhila Asokan before she converted to Islam and changed her name.
On a plea by her father, the Kerala HC had quashed the marriage, upholding his argument that Jahan was a radicalised man, a stooge of the ISIS who was trying to wean away his daughter to Syria under the pretext of marriage. Jahan then moved the apex court against the HC order.
The term love jihad refers to what right-wing groups say is an Islamic campaign to convert Hindu women through seduction and marriage.
Divan said Hadiyas husband was part of a welloiled machinery working in Kerala that was indoctrinating and radicalising society in the state and as many as 89 cases of similar nature have been reported from there.
He insisted this was not a one-off case and there was a common pattern and modus operandi for luring vulnerable girls to convert to Islam by feigning love and the same group of people was behind it.
The NIA too referred to psychological kidnapping and said that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent.
But Justice D Y Chandrachud countered that if the government had credible information that a particular individual is being trafficked away to be used as a human bomb or something else, it has powers to stop the person from going abroad.
But we cannot get into personal relationship between two adults. That would amount to overstretching our jurisdiction, he said.
Hadiya had on Tuesday filed an affidavit, claiming she willingly converted to Islam and wants to live with her husband. At one point, Divan said:
The poor father could not suddenly comprehend her (Hadiyas) desire to go to Syria to rear sheep. He was alarmed. He was dreaming of seeing her as a doctor after she completed the homeopathy course, he concluded.