Supreme Court sets aside Kerala HC order, upholds Hadiya, Shafin's marriage

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The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to continue its investigation in the alleged Kerala love jihad case without interfering in Hadiya's marriage. The case was heard by a bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

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

On the basis of the police's investigation, the Kerala High Court, on May 25, 2017, annulled Hadiya's marriage to Shefin Jahan and ordered her into her parents' custody.

Hadiya, in her affidavit before the top court, had earlier said that she converted to Islam and married Jahan on her own and wanted to remain like that. "We can't stand in the (their) way", said Justice D Y Chandrachud as senior counsel Shyam Divan justified the Kerala High Court annulling Hadiya's marriage.

Kerala HC declares "null and void" the marriage of 24-year-old Hadiya, a Muslim convert, allegedly performed after she was abducted and wrongfully confined in an "illegal Islamic conversion centre" in Malappuram district.

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Shafin Jahan and Hadiya. "Hadiya is at liberty to pursue her endeavours".

The way the Hadiya case had been handled by investigative agencies and the lower courts is problematic at multiple levels - the assumption that a woman can not decide the course of her own life, the willingness to believe that there has to be something suspicious about a Hindu embracing Islam, and the credence it lent to the ridiculous, unsafe theory of love jihad.

Law's excesses had entered Hadiya's life long before her marriage.

The Supreme Court of India finally made a decision on the infamous, seemingly-endless Hadiya case! Earlier the top investigative agency had said that it did not try and portray Hadiya's husband as a terrorist in a bid to mislead Hadiya.

The affidavit stated, "I embraced the religion of Islam on my choice after studying about Islam and thereafter I married a person, namely Shafin Jahan".