Supreme Court of India on Tuesday asked if the Kerala High Court had exceeded its judicial reach by declaring the marriage of Hadiya, a 24-year-old woman, who had converted to islam after marrying a Muslim man, null and void.
The apex court also said that that a 24-year-old woman could not be controlled by her father.
“Can the High Court under Article 226 (writ jurisdiction) nullify a marriage? Prima facie, we say it can’t,” observed the bench headed by Chief Justice Deepak Misra.
“A father can’t say I will have control over her. After all she is a 24-25 year old lady,” observed the bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
The top court in August had directed an NIA probe under the supervision of a retired apex court judge into issues raised by a Muslim man whose marriage was annulled by the Kerala High Court that described the case as an instance of ‘love jihad’.
A Bench headed by Justice Misra’s predecessor, Chief Justice JS Khehar, had said that the investigation into the matter would be supervised by the retired apex court judge RV Raveendran.
The issue had reached the apex court as Kerala-native Shafin Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage by the Kerala High Court that ordered the state police to probe such cases.
Later, in a fresh twist in Kerala’s so-called Love Jihad controversy, the girl, who converted to Islam, had said that she wanted to die as a Muslim.
In the video posted by activist Rahul Easwar, the girl, Akhila Hadiya, her frustration over being kept in solitary confinement adding that ‘Is keeping me like this enough? Is this all my life is going to be?’
Easwar had visited the family to speak to them, where he recorded the conversation of Hadiya and her mother, Ponamma. NDTV quoted him as saying that Hadiya wanted to die as a Muslim.