Supreme Court upholds Hadiya's marriage, sets aside Kerala HC order

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 08, 2018 17:15 hrs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday restored the marriage of Hadiya with Shafin Jahan, setting aside a Kerala High Court order annulling their wedding.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, in a brief operative order, however, said that an NIA investigation into the criminal dimension into the case, if any, would continue.

The court was hearing the final arguments in the appeal filed by Hadiya's husband Shafin Jahan against the Kerala High Court judgment nullifying the 24-year-old homeopathic student's marriage with him.

Earlier, the top court stressed its "worry" over the high court annulling her marriage.

"Can we say that the marriage is not in the best interests of a marrying couple? Whether it is right or wrong, or she (Hadiya) did not marry a right person, it is for the consenting individuals to decide.

Hadiya in an affidavit earlier before the top court said that she had married Shafin Jahan on her own and sought the court’s permission to “live as his wife”.

She has also claimed that her husband was wrongly portrayed as a terrorist by the National Investigation Agency and he has nothing to do with the Middle East-based terror group Islamic State.

Hadiya, 24, earlier Akhila Ashokan, embraced Islam and married Shafin Jahan, a Muslim. Hadiya's father alleged that she was forcibly converted by groups with links to terrorist outfits.

Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict on Thursday, Hadiya's father Ashokan said he "respects the court order but will seek legal recourse on the verdict".

"The verdict has only cleared that her marriage is in order. The court has asked for the NIA probe to continue as the larger question we raised is that Shafin Jahan is a terrorist," he told the media at his house near Kottayam in Kerala.

"We accept the apex court's order as the law has to be respected. A father is in pain to hear that his daughter has gone with a terrorist. We still maintain the marriage was stage-managed... We will seek legal recourse," Ashokan added.

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