NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned its earlier order directing the NIA to probe the alleged forced conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman in Kerala. During the hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra questioned a Kerala High Court order of May which annulled the marriage between Hadiya, who converted to Islam, and Shafin Jahan.
“Can the High Court under Article 226 (writ jurisdiction) nullify a marriage? Prima facie, we say it can’t,” the bench observed. The court also remarked that a father cannot have control over a 25-year-old woman.
“A father can’t say I will have control over her. After all she is a 24-25 year old lady,” the bench said. Clarifying that the apex court would do whatever is right in law, the bench fixed the case for a detailed hearing on October 9.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Dushyant Dave made high-pitch submissions before the bench and questioned the wisdom of the apex court in ordering an NIA probe, though the appeal was filed by the husband of Hadiya. “State is not in appeal, father is not in appeal, NIA is not in appeal. The court has gone beyond the jurisdiction and expanded the proceedings by ordering NIA probe,” he said.
During the hearing of the love jihad case, senior advocate Dushyant Dave on Tuesday, submitted before the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, that this investigation shakes the foundation of this multi- religious country. “Two high functionaries of BJP have married members of minority community. Will this court order NIA probe into it? This order sends terrible signals all over the world,” Dave added.
The case pertains to a 25-year-old woman from Kerala, who married Shafin Jahan after converting to Islam. The High Court nullified this marriage and ordered police to probe into such cases. The court also handed over the custody of the woman to her father.
Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage in the SC and urged the court to seek the presence of the woman before it. In August, NIA had informed the court that love jihad is for real.