Women's panel to submit Hadiya report in SC

Women's panel to submit Hadiya report in SC

Women's panel to submit Hadiya report in SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday has questioned the order of the Kerala High Court that annulled the marriage of a Hindu woman in the state to a Muslim man.

A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also observed that Hadiya's father, KM Ashokan, could not claim custody to her as she is a "24-year-old adult". Earlier, the top court had ordered an NIA probe into the case, even as Shafin Jahan, Hadiya's husband had on September 16 filed a plea requesting it to cancel the NIA probe.

Giving time to the NIA to respond, the Supreme Court scheduled further hearing on the matter onOctober 9.

The apex court's order of an NIA probe into a case of inter-faith marriage and alleged forced conversion has drawn wide-scale criticism from various legal luminaries and human rights groups.

The apex court's remarks came while hearing a plea by Shafin Jahan, challenging the High Court order that nullified his marriage with Hadiya.

Dushyant Dave senior advocate for Jahan said the order quashing the marriage'struck at the very foundation of a multi-religious society and sent wrong signal world over

"An NIA probe into Hadiya's marriage strikes at the very foundation of a multi-religious society", said Dave. "Women are not being viewed as individuals who have political choices", she said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, who appeared in the court in place of ASG Maninder Singh representing the NIA.said all the objections being raised now by Dave had already been raised by senior counsel Kapil Sibal who had represented Jahan earlier and the same were considered by the court before ordering the NIA investigation. It had described the case as an instance of "love jihad" and ordered the state police to conduct probe into such cases.

In a fresh application for recall of this order, Shafin Jahan said that on August 17, 2017 activist Rahul Easwar visited the home of the girl's father, where Akhila has been detained.

Her father moved the Kerala High Court and claimed his daughter was indoctrinated and forcibly converted. "Will Your Lordships order an NIA probe into these marriages too?" The ruling was a low for everyone who talks about freedom and women's rights because a woman was not allowed to exercise her right to get married to the person she chose, or to convert to a religion she wanted to follow. The bench said: "Either we will appoint loco parentis or we will send her somewhere safe".

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