NIA can probe Kerala's 'love jihad' case, but cannot investigate marital status, says SC

On November 27, 2017, the SC top court had said that Hadiya could pursue her homoeopathy studies under her previous Hindu name at Salem medical college.

NIA can probe Kerala's 'love jihad' case, but cannot investigate marital status, says SC
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the NIA could probe into the alleged 'love jihad' case of Kerala but it cannot investigate the marital status of Hadiya and her 'husband'. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed this after the NIA told the court that it had made substantial progress in the investigation which was conducted after the apex court's direction.

"We are not concerned with it (probe). Whether you carry on your investigation or arrest someone, we are not concerned," the bench also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said.

"You can investigate it but you cannot investigate their marital status," the bench added.

The apex court also said that the Kerala-based woman Hadiya, alleged to be a victim of 'love jihad', had appeared before it and had specifically said she had married Shafin Jahan on her own, PTI reported.

At the same time, the bench observed that it would examine whether the Kerala High Court was correct in annulling the marriage while hearing a Habeas Corpus petition.

"We are only concerned with the choice of an adult to marry someone," the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on February 22, 2018.

On November 27, 2017, the top court had said that Hadiya could pursue her homoeopathy studies under her previous Hindu name at Salem medical college.

A Hindu by birth and named as Akhila Ashokan, she is said to have converted to Islam several months before her 'marriage'.

An SC bench headed by CJI had given its direction after interacting with Hadiya even as she had pleaded that she should be allowed to go with her 'husband' Shafin Jahan.

The bench, also comprising Justices Khanwilkar and Chandrachud, had directed the college and the university to re-admit Hadiya and grant her hostel facilities

Hadiya was in the custody of her parents for almost six months after the Kerala High Court had on May 29, 2017, annulled her 'nikah' with Shafin Jahan.

Hadiya's father had welcomed the apex court decision allowing her to continue her studies and had said that he did not want a terrorist in the family. 

Hadiya, KM Ashokan had said, had wanted to go to Syria after converting to Islam but had no idea about what it entailed. "Hadiya does not have any idea about Syria, where she wanted to go after converting to Islam," he had said and had added, "I cannot have a terrorist in the family."

(With PTI inputs)
 

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