The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the National Investigation Agency’s inquiry will have no bearing in deciding the legitimacy of the marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan. Hadiya’s conversion from Hinduism to Islam and her marriage to Jahan, who is a Muslim, led to a controversy and allegations of forced conversion.
“Marriage has to be separate from criminal activity, otherwise we will be creating a bad precedent in law,” the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, according to Bar & Bench. “We cannot go into the marriage, whether the person she married is a good human being or a bad human being. The NIA can investigate all other aspects, except her marriage.”
Hadiya’s father had approached the Kerala High Court alleging that Muslim organisations planned to make her join the Islamic State group, and that her husband Jahan was involved in terror activities. Jahan had moved the Supreme Court against the Kerala High Court order that annulled their marriage and asked that Hadiya be sent to her parents.
The Supreme Court observed that the court cannot delve into the marital status of Hadiya, an adult. The bench sought to know whether a High Court can annul the marriage between two adults while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226, Live Law reported.
“How can we say their marriage is not valid when she says she married....she can choose independently. She is 24 years old,” the court said.
The Supreme Court allowed senior lawyer Kapil Sibal’s oral request for impleadment of Hadiya in the matter. The bench posted the matter for further hearing to February 22.
Hadiya has reiterated that she was not forced to convert to Islam and only wanted to be with her husband. Jahan had also filed a complaint claiming some people were trying to convert her back to Hinduism.
The Supreme Court had earlier held that a woman’s consent as an adult is the most important aspect to consider in a case.