Kerala 'love jihad' case: SC restores Hadiya's marriage, sets aside HC verdict

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Shafin Jahan, Hadiya's husband, had challenged a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with her and sending Hadiya to her parents' custody.

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'.

Kerala woman Hadiya had earlier said that she wanted to be with her husband, as she was whisked away by her parents and security personnel to board a flight to Delhi.

Overruling the high court, the Supreme Court today said that the lower court should not have interfered in the matter.

"Will consider filing a review petition", he told reporters, reacting to the ruling by the apex court bench.

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Born as Akhila in a Hindu family, the medical student had converted to Islam and changed her name to Hadiya before marrying Shafin Jahan, a Muslim man.

In a fresh affidavit, K M 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". But when she was produced at the court, she was married.

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.

But the court said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would continue its probe into the criminal dimension of the case, if any. In November 2017, the Supreme Court "allowed" Hadiya to resume her studies at a homeopathy college in Tamil Nadu's Salem, but put her under the guardianship of her college dean, not allowing her to chat with her husband. The judgment and order passed by the High Court is set aside.

Despite Hadiya's pleas, the court in November previous year, placed her in the custody of her college administration until she completes her education.

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