Kerala 'love jihad': The curious case of Hadiya aka Akhila

Hadiya and Shafin Jahan

In what is believed to be a victory of Love over Jihad, the Supreme Court set aside Kerala Court's order on Love Jihad's and said it was wrong in annulling Hadiya's marriage.

The apex court has said that it would examine whether the Kerala high court was correct in annulling Hadiya's marriage to a Muslim man.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it was restoring Hadiya and Jahan's marriage, as it had interacted with the former and found that she had exercised her consent in getting married.

In November, the court had allowed Hadiya to resume her studies at a homeopathic college in Tamil Nadu's Salem, after she was placed under her parents' custody since her marriage was annulled last May. SC orders Kerala Police to share with NIA the probe details of the case described by the HC as an instance of "love jihad".

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The anti-terror Investigation agency had told the court that the alleged conversion and marriage of Hadiya to a Muslim man was not an isolated incident and there was a pattern emerging in the state. Respondent No.9, Hadiya alias Akhila Asokan is at liberty to pursue her future endeavours according to law.

The SC observed that "marriage and intimacy of personal relationships are core of plurality in India".

Hadiya, born a Hindu, had converted to Islam to marry Jahan, setting off cries of religious conversion by the Hindu Right which termed it as 'love jihad'. "I will try to convince the court about it once again", he said.

She was however not allowed to unite with her husband. Appearing for the NIA, lawyer Maninder Singh had submitted to the Supreme Court that the probe has nearly been completed. The Bench said that there was a roving inquiry by the Kerala High Court into Hadiya's marriage. She also sought for permission to live as Jahan's wife. "I respectfully reiterate that I am a Muslim and I want to continue to live as a Muslim ..."

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