NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday saw a high pitched war of words between two lawyers in the Kerala love jihad case and it refused to hear the case as the advocate representing the husband was ‘mixing law and politics’.Adjourning the case to October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra got irked by the arguments of senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, appearing for Shafin Jahan, the husband whose marriage was annulled by the Kerala High Court, as he referred to the names of BJP President Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and their imputed political motives.
“Yogi Adityanath spoke of ‘love jihad’ in Kerala. This court should know the ground realities. We are not interested in what CPI(M) does or what BJP does. But these rallies were unfortunate attempts to vitiate the atmosphere in a State where inter-religious marriages take place,” Dave said, adding that Shah had also visited Kerala.“These kind of arguments can’t be permitted and tolerated. The way you have argued is inexcusable. We can’t allow you to bring in names of politicians here without any relevance to the case,” the court added.
Justice D Y Chandrachud, who was also part of the bench said, “We do not have to comment on political personalities. If we start doing that, how do we insulate ourselves from politics? You should reduce the pitch of the submissions made here.”Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for NIA, vehemently opposed Dave’s submission and said this was politics and the senior lawyer was browbeating the court which was obnoxious and unpardonable.
“There is great sensitivity in the matter. President Ram Nath Kovind had spoken about the atmosphere prevalent in Kerala and the mutual respect between religions. There is an effort to undermine that mutual respect. I am concerned about my wife’s safety. There is an attempt to broaden this matter,” Dave said.
The bench was of the prima facie view that the question was whether the HC can exercise its power under writ jurisdiction to annul the marriage of a Muslim man with a Hindu woman who had converted to Islam before tying the nuptial knot.
However, the war of words irked the bench which told Dave, “You cannot say whatever you want in this court. You have bulldozed your own case.”The bench asked when a person has consented for marriage, can the High Court annul it unless the person is not in a position to consent.“Yes, and the people behind this have indoctrinated the girl” the ASG said indicating that the consent may be vitiated. The ASG added the NIA was asked by this court to probe the case.
“The NIA was playing into the hands of the government, Dave alleged.“I am disturbed that you are trying to browbeat the other side by such obnoxious statements. They have been using intimidation (tactics) continuously,” the ASG responded.“At least, we only do it in court. Not outside like your government,” Dave replied.Irked over the war of words, the SC adjourned to October 30.