Kerala 'Love Jihad': It is the most complex case I have seen in my life, says Dipak Misra

25-year-old’s counsel Sibal aserts it’s a question of personal freedom; father alleges well-oiled mechanism to convert women in Kerala

Published: 28th November 2017 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2017 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

Hadiya (Photo |EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered 25-year-old Kerala woman Hadiya to return to her college at Salem in Tamil Nadu and complete her internship at a homoeopathic medical college in Salem. The Chief Justice admitted that he has never seen such a case in his life and said, “We as judges must have handled 200 to 300 habeas corpus cases. But it is not a simple case, it is the most complex case I have seen in my life.”

Hadiya told the bench, “I want my freedom. I have been in unlawful custody for last 11 months.” Before Hadiya spoke in the court, the court and National Investigation Agency were engaged in a debate for nearly two hours and told the bench that there were at least 11 cases in Kerala of forced conversion for terror.The NIA wanted its probe report into alleged instances of conversions in Kerala before speaking to Hadiya. The woman’s father insisted for an in-camera hearing which was opposed by the husband’s lawyer.

Jehan had on September 20 approached the apex court seeking recall of its order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case of conversion and marriage. The Kerala High Court had annulled the marriage terming it as an instance of ‘love jihad’, following which he had approached the apex court. Ashokan KM, Hadiya’s father, had alleged that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Manider Singh, appearing for NIA said, “Findings of NIA critical in nature. There are 11 other such cases and 7 cases are arising out of the same organisation – Satyasarini.”Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Hadiya’s father, also submitted transcript of a voice clip of alleged ISIS recruiter Abdul Rasheed to show his association with the Popular Front of India, an Islamic fundamentalist organisation Jahan was allegedly connected to.

Opposing ASG, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said, “An individual autonomy should not be given communal color.” This prompted bench to ask, “What should be the threshold to an individual autonomy?” Sibal responded, “Let’s assume that she wrongly chooses this person to marry but this is completely her choice. She will face the consequences.” On this Justice Chandrachud said, “We are not saying that this is in your case but there is one phenomenon called Stockholm syndrome. Even though there is free consent or person is a major, due to this syndrome they can’t take decisions freely.”
The next hearing is in third week of January.

Short notes 

Chief Justice Dipak Misra felt he has never seen such a case in his life. 
When Sibal told the court, “This is completely her choice. She will face the consequences if she is wrong,”  Justice Chandrachud countered, “But there is a phenomenon called Stockholm syndrome.” 
Senior advocate V Giri, appearing for Kerala government said, “If e documents submitted before the court by NIA is of that importance then court should look into these evidences before listening to Hadiya.”

Love in the time of Jihad

Is Hadiya’s a case of conversionists using loopholes or love beyond religions?

2015
Sept 10: Akhila initiates procedures to convert to Islam
Nov: Her father K M Asokan learns about the move
2016
Jan 1: Hadiya shifts to her friend’s house 
Jan 6: Comes to private medical college in Salem, where she pursued homeopathy course, 
wearing headscarf
Jan 11: C Aboobacker, the father of Hadiya’s friend Jaseena, arrested  based on Asokan’s complaint
Jan 12: Asokan files habeas corpus in HC
Jan 18: Brought to court by National Women’s Front president A S Sainaba, Hadiya refuses to go with parents. Sainaba gets her custody. Court accepts Hadiya’s request to learn Islam at Sathya Sarani
Jan 21 to March 21: Studies Islam at the facility
Aug 17: Asokan files new petition, alleges bid to take Hadiya to Syria to fight for IS
Aug 22: HC directs shifting of Hadiya to a hostel in Kochi
Aug 26: She tells HC that she embraced Islam as per her wish
Dec 19: Hadiya marries Kollam native Shefin Jahan
Dec 21: Court refuses to accept the marriage

2017
May 24: HC annuls her marriage, while hearing Asokan’s habeas corpus plea on forced conversion; Hadiya sent with parents; police watch on house since then
July 5: Shefin moves Supreme Court, wants Hadiya to be  produced in court
Aug 4: SC notice to NIA and Kerala government. Asokan told to submit documents to prove religious conversion 
Aug 16: SC tells NIA to probe case, appoints former judge Justice R V Raveendran to monitor probe
Aug 19: NIA registers FIR with Aboobacker as accused
Aug 30: Justice Raveendran recuses himself from monitoring Hadiya case probe
Sept 16: Shefin moves court again, wants NIA probe cancelled
Oct 3: SC asks whether HC has the powers to annul the marriage between two adults
Oct 7: No need for NIA probe, says Kerala govt affidavit in SC
Oct 9: SC says HC has no right to annul marriage; says HC power to place an adult woman in father’s custody restrained; father cannot keep her in custody if she is mentally fit  
Oct 30: SC orders Hadiya to be produced before SC on Nov 27 
Nov 27: Hadiya in SC

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