India Supreme Court restores 'love jihad' marriage

Supreme Court upholds Hadiya's marriage with Muslim man quashes Kerala High Court order

Born as Akhila in a Hindu family, the medical student had converted to Islam and changed her name to Hadiya before marrying Shafin Jahan, a Muslim man.

A three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, gave the ruling after NIA lawyer Maninder Singh told the Supreme Court that the agency's probe had nearly been concluded.

Before a three judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Hadiya Jahan said that she wanted her freedom and to see her husband, who would support her financially.

In an affidavit filed before the top court, Hadiya had submitted that she had married out of her own free will and sought permission to live with Shefin Jahan as his wife.

The NIA, too, had said previously that Hadiya and Jahan's marriage could be classified as a case of "love jihad". But she was presented in the court after her marriage. The SC bench restored her marriage with her husband Shafin Jahan.

Feb 22: SC questions whether the HC could nullify a marriage and if a roving inquiry could be ordered into the issue of consent between two adults to marry. The judgment is in line with the apex court's statements over the previous few hearings, when it said that a 26-year-old woman has the freedom to make her own marital choices and the courts can not intervene in a consensual marriage.

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However, the agency could not investigate the Hadiya's marital status, the court said, reiterating a stand it had taken earlier.

She was however not allowed to unite with her husband.

Asokan said he would also consider filing a review petition in connection with the apex court order.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had told the high court in the southern state of Kerala that Hadiya was brainwashed by a Muslim man with direct links to Islamic State. In August 2010, after completing school, she went to Salem to study.

The agency completely denied allegations by Ms. Hadiya that it was prejudiced against her and was trying to "mislead her, portraying Mr. Shafin Jahan as a terrorist".

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