SC restores Hadiya's marriage, strikes down Kerala HC order

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

Shafin Jahan, Hadiya's husband, challenged the annulment of the marriage in the Supreme Court.

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 headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra gave the ruling after NIA lawyer Maninder Singh told the apex court that probe in the case was nearly over.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it was restoring Hadiya and Jahan's marriage, as it had interacted with the former and found that she had exercised her consent in getting married.

The NIA affidavit follows the one filed by Asokan K.M., father of Ms. Hadiya whose conversion to Islam and marriage to Shafin Jahan kicked up a storm in Kerala amidst allegations of 'love jihad'.

In response to Ashokan's petition, Akhila appeared in court and said she did not want to go back to her parents.

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

However, according to LiveLaw, the court also said that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) can continue its investigations into whether there was any criminality involved, but it shouldn't probe into the marriage.

Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict on Thursday, Hadiya's father said he "respects the court order but will seek legal recourse on the verdict".

In November 2017, the top court directed Hadiya to resume her internship, and that she was free to meet whomever she wanted.

The couple were "material and crucial witnesses" and had left India before the NIA took over the probe under the orders of the Supreme Court in August 2017. Last month the bench had said that the NIA couldn't probe the marital status of 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".

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