Supreme Court (SC) of India on Tuesday decided to examine the Kerala love jihad case, where the High Court (HC) had annulled a Muslim man’s marriage with a Hindu girl Akhila who took the name Hadiya after embracing Islam, terming it a matter of ‘love jihad’. While hearing the review plea filed by Shafin Jahan, a Kerala resident, SC said that a father cannot dictate the life of his adult daughter who is well-able to make her own decisions.
The court said, it will analyse Kerala’s HC decision whether a court can annul an inter-religion marriage if it has been performed with the consent of the two partners and the Hindu woman had converted to Islam before tying the knot with the Muslim man.
“The question is whether an HC on an Article 226 petition can annul the marriage,” said a panel of judges headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Mishra along with two other Justices, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
The bench said a fresh plea from Shafin Jahan will be heard on October 9 where he has sought reversal of the earlier order where the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was ordered to probe all the angles in the case.
The bride’s father had alleged his daughter was forcefully and fraudulently converted to Islam, and the NIA investigation was ordered by the High Court to probe the claim. As per reports, the court concluded: “She is a 24-year-old woman” and they could not “have control over her.”
The Cheif Justice also observed that Hadiya’s custody could not be offered to her father, suggesting that she was an adult. “Either we will appoint loco parentis or we will send her somewhere safe. Father can’t insist on her custody”, said the CJI.
Earlier, a notice was issued to Shafin Jahan and state police after NIA filed a fresh plea stating that it needed a separate order by the court to investigate the matter. The notice was issued by a bench of Chief Justices including JS Khehar, Justices AK Goel and DY Chandrachud.