A Supreme Court judge on Monday declined Hadiya’s request for her husband to be made her guardian as ‘wife is not a chattel.’
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had spoken to 25-year old Hadiya for nearly half-an-hour and asked questions on her life, ambition, studies and hobbies.
Hadiya reportedly told the Supreme Court that she wanted the ‘freedom’ to live with her husband, profess her faith in Islam and that she very well aware of what she was doing, reported PTI.
When the bench asked Hadiya to name any relative or any near acquaintance to be named as her local guardian in college at Salem in Tamil Nadu, she said her husband could be her guardian and she does not want anyone else in that role.
“A husband cannot be a guardian of his wife. Wife is not a chattel. She has her own identity in life and society. Even I am not guardian of my wife. Please make her understand,” Justice Chandrachud said.
The bench posed questions to Hadiya in English while she answered in Malyalam, which was translated by senior advocate V Giri, who appeared for the Kerala government.
When the bench asked Hadiya what her dreams are for the future, she replied she wanted freedom and to live with her husband.
The bench then asked whether she was comfortable in professing her faith and studying simulatenously and told her that being a good citizen, she can profess her faith and be a good doctor.
Hadiya replied she wanted freedom to profess her faith and is fully aware of what she is doing.
The bench then asked her whether she wanted to continue her studies and pursue internship in house surgeonship at the expense of the state government. She replied that she wanted to pursue her studies, but not at the state’s expense as her husband will take care of her.
You can read the entire copy of the Supreme Court’s order below;
UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
Heard Mr. Kapil Sibal and Ms. Indira Jaising,
learned senior counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Maninder
Singh, learned Additional Solicitor General for the NIA, Mr.
Shyam Divan, learned senior counsel for respondent no.1 and
Mr. P.A. Noor Muhamed, learned counsel for respondent nos.7
The matter was heard at length, keeping in view our
earlier order dated 30th October 2017. At present, we intend
to pass a brief interim order, keeping open all the issues
that were raised and stated in the previous order.
Mr. Shyam Divan, learned senior counsel for the
first respondent, pressed his application (Crl.M.P.No.124312
of 2017) and submitted that the Court should interview Akhila
@ Hadiya in camera and not in open Court. During the course
of hearing, the debate continued in many a sphere but, as
stated earlier, today we are not inclined to dwell upon the
same but keep the matter pending.
After due deliberation, we thought it appropriate to
interact with Akhila @ Hadiya and we have accordingly
interacted with her in Court. We were told that though she
can communicate in English, she may not be able to
effectively articulate in that language. Hence, we requested
Mr. V. Giri, learned senior counsel, who also represents the
State of Kerala to assist in translating the questions posed
to her in Court and the answers given by her.
The range of questions that we posed basically
pertained to her qualifications, interest in studies,
perception of life and what she intends to do in future. In
response to our queries, she responded by stating that she
has passed Class X from Higher Secondary School in K.V.
Puram, Vaikom in Kottayam District and thereafter she was
prosecuting her BHMS course in Shivaraj Homeopathy Medical
College in Salem in the State of Tamil Nadu. She has also
stated that she intends to continue her
internship/housemanship which she had left because of certain
reasons and her ambition is to become a full-fledged
homeopathic doctor. She has expressed her desire to stay in
the hostel and complete the course in the said college, if a
seat is made available.
In the above view, we direct, as desired by her,
that she be taken to Salem so as to enable her to pursue her
internship/housemanship. We also direct the college to admit
her and to allow the facility of a room or a shared room in
the hostel as per practice to enable her to continue her
internship/housemanship afresh. Be it stated, she herself
has stated that the duration of the internship/housemanship
is likely to be for 11 months. If any formality is to be
complied with, the college shall communicate with the
university and the university shall accede to the same. Our
directions are to be followed in letter and spirit by all
concerned. Needless to say, when she stays in the hostel,
she will be treated like any other student and will be guided
by the hostel rules. If necessary, the expenses for pursuing
the course and for the hostel shall be borne by the State of
Kerala. The Dean of the College shall approach this Court if
there is any problem with regard to any aspect. ‘Any
problem’ does not mean, admission in the hostel or
continuance in the course.
We direct the State of Kerala to make all necessary
arrangements so that she can travel to Salem at the earliest.
She has made a request that she should be accompanied by
policewomen in plainclothes. The State shall attend to the
prayer appropriately. If any security problem arises, the
State of Tamil Nadu shall make local arrangements for the
same. We have been told that she is presently staying in
Kerala Bhawan at New Delhi. Mr. V. Giri, learned senior
counsel assures this Court that she shall be permitted to
stay in Kerala Bhawan till she moves to Salem.
We make it clear that the NIA investigation shall
continue in accordance with law.
Let the matter be listed in the 3rd week of January
(Chetan Kumar) (H.S. Parasher)
Court Master Assistant Registrar