Kerala 'Love Jihad' Case: Hadiya Wins Freedom, Supreme Court Validates Her Marriage

India's Supreme Court today permitted a Hindu woman who converted to Islam to live with her Muslim husband, a man federal investigators accused of being a recruiter for militant group Islamic State, in an incident they called "Love Jihad".

A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud passed the interim order.

The court also ruled that the Kerala High Court should not have annulled Hadiya and Shafin Jahan's marriage.


Nov 27: SC frees Hadiya from her parents' custody, sends her to college to pursue her studies, even as she pleaded that she should be allowed to go with her husband. Hadiya is at the centre of alleged love jihad controversy after her marriage with Shafin Jahan. But she was presented in the court after her marriage. Her marriage with Shafin Jahan can not be annulled.

By setting aside the Kerala High Court's decision that described the marriage as a "sham", the order also marks an important course correction.

Hadiya Jahan, earlier known by her Hindu name Akhila Asokan, has always insisted that she acted out of her own free will.


But the court said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would continue its probe into the criminal dimension of the case, if any. Appearing for the NIA, lawyer Maninder Singh had submitted to the Supreme Court that the probe has nearly been completed. Hadiya born Akhila Ashokan married Shefin after converting to Islam. Maninder Singh, the lawyer appearing from NIA has said that the probe into the investigation is nearly complete.

In a judgment that infantlilised an adult citizen of a democracy, the court said: "A girl aged 24 years is weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways". Last month the bench had said that the NIA couldn't probe the marital status of Hadiya.

The court refused her permission to live with Shefin and asked the police to investigate all the facts of the marriage.


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