The Supreme Court on Thursday restored the marriage between Shafin Jahan and Hadiya, an alleged victim of 'love jihad', and also set aside the Kerala High Court's order which had annulled her validity of her marriage.
The SC held that the Kerala High Court should not have annulled the marriage between Hadiya and Shafin Jahan. The court, however, asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to continue its probe in the Kerala 'love jihad' case without interfering in the marriage of Hadiya.
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 almost over. The court was hearing the final arguments in the appeal filed by Hadiya's husband Shafin Jahan against the Kerala High Court judgment nullifying the 24-year-old homeopathic student's marriage with him.
Earlier this week, the father had claimed before the apex court that his efforts prevented his daughter from being transported to "extremist-controlled territories" of Syria to be used as a "sex slave or a human bomb".
In a fresh affidavit, KM Asokan said that his daughter Hadiya was a "vulnerable adult" and she "abjectly surrendered herself to complete strangers who adopted her into their fold, offering her shelter and protection and further imparted religious indoctrination in an isolated environment".
He was responding to an affidavit filed by his daughter, who had earlier told the apex court that she had willingly converted to Islam and wanted to remain a Muslim.
In his affidavit, Asokan said he cannot remain a mute spectator if his daughter is abducted and taken to extremist-controlled territories for being used as a sex slave or a human bomb.
The matter came to the fore when Shafin Jahan, who claimed to be the husband of Hadiya, had challenged a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with her and sending the woman to her parents' custody.
The apex court had on February 22 questioned whether the high court could nullify a marriage between "vulnerable adults" after the father of the 25-year-old woman had justified the order.
In an affidavit filed before the top court, Hadiya said that she had married Jahan on her own will and sought the court's permission to "live as his wife".
She also claimed that her husband was wrongly portrayed as a terrorist by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and he had nothing to do with the Middle East-based terror group ISIS.
On November 27 last year, the apex court had freed Hadiya from her parents' custody and sent her to college to pursue her studies, even as she had pleaded that she should be allowed to go with her husband.
The high court had annulled the marriage terming it as an instance of 'love jihad', following which Jahan had approached the apex court.
(With agency inputs)