KOCHI: Kerala High Court on Thursday held that every case of inter-religious marriage should not be portrayed on a religious canvas.
"All love marriages should not be termed as 'love-jihad'," observed the Court while hearing a petition with regard to an inter-religious marriage of Kannur-native Sruthi Meledath and Anees Hameed.
A Division Bench of the court issued the order while upholding the marriage of a Hindu girl with a Muslim man.
The court also quoted the poem of Maya Angelou, American poet, that "love recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
The Bench observed that there is a trend in the state to sensationalise every case of inter-religious marriage as either 'Love Jihad or 'Ghar Wapsi' even if there was platonic love between the spouses before.
This case was also projected as Love Jihad by the parents of Sruthi whereas Anees Muhammad, who married Sruthi, alleged a case of 'Ghar Wapsi' in a bid to coerce her to come back to the Hindu fold.
"Any center for forcible conversion or re-conversion has to be busted by the police whether it is Hindu, Muslim or Christian.
Constitution of India guarantees to every citizen the right to freely profess, practice and propogate any religion which cannot be trampled upon by subversive forces or religious outfits," the court observed.
On October 10 while hearing Hadiya's case, the High Court gave the same verdict that 'all inter-religious marriages cannot be termed love jihad'.
Earlier on October 7, the Kerala Government told the Supreme Court that an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was not needed in the case as the state police was efficient enough to carry out the inquiry.
In an affidavit, the state government informed the apex court that the state police is competent enough to investigate such crimes.
(With inputs from PTI)