Supreme Court: Setting aside the judgment of Kerala High Court that had annulled the marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr. DY Chandrachud, JJ asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to continue its probe in the Kerala ‘love jihad’ case without interfering in the marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan.
Though the detailed reasoned order of the Court is yet to be released, writing down the operative part of the order in the matter, the Bench said:
“the High Court should not have annulled the marriage between appellant No.1, Shafin Jahan and Hadiya alias Akhila Asokan, in a Habeas Corpus petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. We say so because in the present appeal, by special leave, we had directed the personal presence of Hadiya alias Akhila Asokan; she appeared before this Court on 27th November, 2017, and admitted her marriage with appellant No.1.”
The Court also said:
“Hadiya alias Akhila Asokan is at liberty to pursue her future endeavours according to law.”
It was, however, made clear that the investigations by the NIA in respect of any matter of criminality will continue in accordance with law.
Earlier, the Court had said that the NIA cannot go into the legality of the marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan as Hadiya is a 24-year-old adult and has the right to marry any adult man of her choice. The Court noticed that NIA probe will have no bearing in deciding the aspects of her legitimacy of marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan which was annulled by Kerala High Court. The bench had removed Hadiya from the custody of her father and had sent her to college after she expressed her wish to continue her studies. [Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M., 2018 SCC OnLine SC 201, order dated 08.03.2018]