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Hadiya case: SC to examine whether HC can annul marriage

04 October 2017

He questioned if the Kerala High Court had exceeded its reach by annulling Hadiya's marriage in May to Shafin Jahan, who had returned to India from the Middle East.

The SC said these while considering the petition submitted by Shafeen Jahan seeking to end the NIA investigation against him, and requesting to produce Hadiya at the court.

The court, however, took exception to Dave's contention that it could not have travelled beyond the prayers made in the petition and ordered an NIA investigation saying the court had the power to do so depending on the facts of each case.

The Supreme Court virtually revisited on Tuesday its earlier orders into the alleged forced conversion and marriage of a Kerala woman, questioning the annulment of her marriage and a federal anti-terror probe into a case that has deepened religious faultlines.

The high court, while declaring the marriage as "null and void", had described the case as an instance of "love jihad" and ordered the state police to conduct probe into such cases.

On behalf of Jahan, senior counsel Dushyant Dave questioned the court's order for an NIA probe into the case. "Your lordships have gone beyond the jurisdiction and expanded the proceedings by ordering NIA probe", he said. "It might send the girl to a custodian or an organisation".

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The scope of entertaining pleas under Article 226 by the High Court has been expanded to include issues not involving state actors but does it also extend to taking recourse to nullify a marriage, the court observed.

In a fresh application for recall of this order, Shafin Jahan said that on August 17, 2017 activist Rahul Easwar visited the home of the girl's father, where Akhila has been detained.

The top court had on August 16 directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the incident under the supervision of retired apex court judge, Justice R V Raveendran.

As per TV reports, CJI Dipak Misra questioned how the SC (under Justice Khehar) had asked for a NIA (National Investigating Agency) probe in the case.

The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan.

Jahan has claimed Hadiya, a homeopathy student in Kerala, converted to Islam of her own volition two years prior to their marriage and sought direction to Hadiya's father to present her in court.

Hadiya case: SC to examine whether HC can annul marriage