The Supreme Court, which is hearing the case of the alleged forcible religious conversion of Kerala woman Hadiya, on Thursday reiterated its question if the Kerala High Court had the authority to annul a marriage between two consenting adults.
Once again making it clear that the NIA while investigating any criminality would not venture into the marriage, the court directed the next hearing of the matter on March 8.
Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud who headed the bench with Mishra also commented, "We can not say this marriage is not in her best interest".
In an interim order in November, the bench had allowed her to pursue a homoeopathic course in Salem, Tamil Nadu, till the top court determined the validity of Kerala High Court's May 25 order past year that annulled her marriage. Earlier in January, the Supreme Court had said it can not question Hadiya's choice of husband and directed the NIA to not probe her "marital status". A three-judge bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud questioned whether the Kerala high court could nullify a marriage between "vulnerable adults" after the father of the 25-year-old woman Hadiya justified the order.
Hadiya is now with her parents, who have alleged that her marriage to a Shafin is a case of so-called "love jihad". Divan also urged the Supreme Court to hear what the National Investigation Agency has to say on its inquiry into the "huge trafficking case", Bar and Bench reported. Hadiya was called Akhila before she married Jahan and converted to Islam. "Let the NIA continue its probe and we are not bothered".
Hadiya, in her affidavit before the top court, has said that she converted to Islam and married Jahan on her own and wanted to remain like that. Earlier in January, the Supreme Court had said it can not question Hadiya's choice of husband and directed the NIA to not probe her "marital status".
Hadiya had also suggested that her husband could be appointed as her guardian.