Supreme Court hears its 1st 'love jihad' case, demands proof from NIA


Jahan claims that her father is holding the woman in illegal confinement after the Kerala High Court, on May 24, "arbitrarily" annulled their marriage, condemning it as "love jihad".

A division bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud after terming the case "serious" and "sensitive" had asked NIA and Ashokan K M, father of the girl to provide their material possessions to the court.

The other picture of the woman is what her father draws - a helpless victim trapped by a "well-oiled" racket which uses "psychological measures" to indoctrinate people and convert them to Islam.

Her husband, Shafin Jahan, 27, challenged the high court order in the top court, saying the the order was an "an insult to the independence of woman in India".

HC had found merit in her father KM Ashokan's statement that his daughter had been recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Shafin Jahan was "only a stooge who had been assigned to play the role of going through a marriage ceremony".

Divan said such conversions and marriages were not rare in Kerala. His daughter's case was only the tip of the iceberg. There is more here than what meets the eye.

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Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising, along with advocate Haris Beeran, urged the Bench to first order the father to produce his daughter.

Which is unusual, considering the fact that the case revolves around her, her independence and her choices, and it continues to be that everyone but the grown woman herself gets to decide what happens to her and her life.

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and the Kerala government on a plea of Muslim man whose marriage with a Hindu woman was annulled by the Kerala High Court, which termed it a "love jihad".

The judges posed some pointed questions to the lawyers who represented the couple like why the girl was giving incoherent answers to the HC judge, Why she had three names, did not she know the boy before the marriage, did not the boy have criminal antecedents etc. "Which 24-year-old has three names?" Chief Justice Khehar asked about the girl's multiple identities. "The court should interview her", they argued. "So prima facie, she seemed to have been in the control of someone else", Justice Chandrachud observed.

"Issue notice. Madhvi Divan, advocate. on behalf of respondent number one (father) seeks a week's time, so as to enable her to place material on the record of this case".

The Supreme Court of India on a petition filed by a Muslim man has agreed to hear the matter of alleged "Love Jihad" on August 16.