Kerala 'love jihad' case: SC to examine if marriage can be annulled by HC's writ powers

The SC in August had ordered a NIA probe into the plea of a Muslim man whose marriage with a Hindu woman (Hadiya) was annulled by the Kerala HC.

Kerala 'love jihad' case: SC to examine if marriage can be annulled by HC's writ powers

New Delhi: In the latest development in the Kerala 'love jihad' case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will examine as to whether High Court can annul the marriage by exercising its writ powers.

The SC in August had ordered a NIA probe into the plea of a Muslim man Shafin Jahan whose marriage with a Hindu woman (Hadiya) was annulled by the Kerala High Court, which had termed it a "love jihad".

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra decided to hear the plea of Kerala man opposing NIA probe into his marriage with Hindu woman who had converted to Islam on October 9.

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Jahan, argued that in a multi-religious society the apex court should not have ordered NIA investigation in the case and urged for an urgent hearing on the plea seeking recall of the order.

A bench of former Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud had ordered the premier probe agency to launch a probe into the conversion and marriage of the Kerala Hindu girl, who was known as Akhila but allegedly converted to Islam and changed her name to Hadiya, to a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan. The marriage had taken place in 2016.

Shafin on September 16 filed a plea requesting the top court to call off the NIA probe, alleging that the investigation agency "is not being fair".

Justice RV Ravindran, a retired judge of the apex court, is supervising the investigation.

The Kerala HC on May 25 had declared as "null and void," the marriage of 24-year-old Hadiya who was allegedly forced to convert to Islam after being abducted and wrongfully confined in Kerala's Malappuraman district. It had described the case as an instance of 'love jihad' and ordered the state police to conduct probe into such cases.

Shafin Jahan, has filed an another plea in SC challenging the HC order saying it was an "an insult to the independence of woman in India".

Jahan has claimed Hadiya, a homeopathy student in Kerala, converted to Islam of her own volition two years prior to their marriage and sought direction to Hadiya's father to present her in court.

However, Hadiya's father, has maintained that his daughter was a "helpless victim" trapped by a "well-oiled racket" which used "psychological measures" to indoctrinate people and convert them to Islam.

Hadiya's father plea says Hahan is a criminal and his daughter was trapped by a network with connections to Popular Front of India and even the Islamic State.

The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan.

It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.

Hadiya was a homeopathy student in Kerala when she converted to Islam and changed her name. Jahan had met her with his family in August 2016 in response to her posting on a marriage website and they got married in December 2016.

But in August 2016 itself, her father had approached high court with a habeas corpus petition, alleging his daughter had been radicalised by some organisations and they had also influenced her to marry a Muslim man so that she is out of the parents' custody forever.

He had also apprehended that there could be a plan to send her to Syria to work with extremist organisations such as IS since the man she married had been working in the Gulf.

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