Verdict not final, will consider review petition, says Hadiya's father

Verdict not final, will consider review petition, says Hadiya's father

In the Kerala Love Jihad case, Supreme Court on Thursday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to continue with its investigation but not interfere with the marriage of the medical student from Kerala, Hadiya.

The bench was headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and also comprised Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.M. Khanwilkar.

On May 24, 2017, the court had annulled Hadiya's marriage, ordering Hadiya to return to live with her parents in the Kottayam district of the state.

The NIA, too, had said previously that Hadiya and Jahan's marriage could be classified as a case of "love jihad". Hadiya's father alleged that she was forcibly converted by groups with links to terrorist outfits.

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By Kunzes GobaHadiya and Shafin Jahan. "How can the HC annul a marriage between two consenting adults under Article 226 of Constitution of India", he asked referring to an earlier order by the Kerala High Court. The Supreme Court had also said that the Dean of the university will act as her local guardian there. Hadiya born Akhila Ashokan married Shefin after converting to Islam.

It was only in January this year that the top court put Hadiya and Jahan's marriage out of the purview of the NIA, saying the investigative body could not question its validity even as it continued with its "forced conversions racket" probe. At that time, the apex court had not yet made a statement about the status of her marriage.

Nearly seven months after the Supreme Court directed the Kerala police to share with the NIA details of its investigation into alleged conversions, the central agency said the probe was nearly complete and it was hot on the heels of the couple, Fasal Musthafa and Shirin Shahana, now believed to be in Yemen. "I want to be with my husband", the 25-year-old woman, wearing a headscarf, shouted to media persons as she was being taken inside the Nedumbassery airport in Kochi amid tight security. The top court also said Hadiya can freely follow her pursuits. Last month the bench had said that the NIA couldn't probe the marital status of Hadiya.

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