Probe criminal dimension, not Hadiya’s marriage: SC to NIA

HadiyaNew Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday permitted the NIA to continue its probe into any criminality in the marriage of Hadiya, a Hindu woman from Kerala who converted to Islam, with Shafin Jahan but not intrude into their marriage.

Observing that the probe into the criminal aspect has to be segregated from the marriage, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said “…otherwise we will be creating a bad precedent in law”.

“We can’t go into the marriage. Whether the person she is married to is good human being or a bad human” — the bench observed, noting that Hadiya is 24 years old and has made an independent decision and choice to marry. Hadiya was known as Akhila Ashokan before she converted.

Making it clear that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has to stay away from the marriage of Hadiya with Shafin, the court observed that the agency could probe into “all other aspects except her marriage”.

Hadiya was set free and allowed to pursue her studies in the last hearing of the matter on November 27 as she had told the court that she wanted to pursue her internship in the Sivaraj Homeopathic College and Research Institute in Salem in Tamil Nadu.

Hadiya had told the court that she wanted “freedom and release”. She was put in the custody of her parents by a Kerala High Court order.

Having told the NIA not to intrude into their marriage, the court said that the only question it was concerned with is whether the High Court could have annulled the marriage of Hadiya with Shafin in the wake of a habeas corpus petition, a concern the court had expressed in earlier hearings also.

The court also made Hadiya a party in the matter, which will now be heard on February 22 when the apex court will examine the validity of the High Court’s order that annulled the marriage.


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