NEW DELHI: Days before Hadiya aka Akhila, the Kerala woman who converted to Islam before marrying a Muslim man, appears before the Supreme Court, her father on Tuesday approached the apex court urging the interaction with his daughter be held in-camera and not in the open court.
The application was filed after a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on October 30 directed Hadiya be produced before it on November 27 for an interaction in open court. Her father K M Asokan submitted the plea saying he and his daughter had the right to privacy. He also alleged there were threats from extremist elements to the family and their safety would be at stake.
“It is respectfully submitted a family’s anguish and misery caused by the acts of an extremist organisation should not be reduced to a public spectacle and or a reality show. The object of the production of girl in a court is to enable the court arrive at the truth and ascertain the role of PFI/other extremist elements and whether there is a network in place or systematic conversion and radicalisation,” the application said. It said: “It is genuinely believed in-camera interaction is necessary in the interest of the safety and privacy of the girl and the family.”
“Further, given the extent of religious indoctrination by extremist elements, wherein the respondent number one’s daughter is already spewing narratives of hell and the torment meted out to sinners, she may be subject to undue pressure which could be an obstacle to truth seeking and dispensation of justice,” the plea said.Asokan submitted even the Kerala High Court had ordered round-the-clock security to his family in view of the threat from radical elements.
The apex court had earlier observed the free consent of a major to marriage has to be ascertained amid an assertion by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent to marriage.
NIA had also alleged there a well-oiled machinery was working in Kerala, indulging in indoctrination and radicalisation with 89 such cases reported.The counsel for Asokan had earlier claimed Shafin Jahan, the alleged husband of the woman, was a radicalised man and had links with persons who recruited for the terrorist group ISIS.Jahan had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court annulled his marriage with Hadiya. He had said the HC’s order was an insult to the independence of women in the country.