In a setback for the National Investigative Agency (NIA) and Hadiya's father, a three-judge Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on Thursday restored the 25-year-old Keralite's marriage with Shafin Jahan in the infamous Kerala 'love-jihad' case. Effectively, the apex court set aside a Kerala High Court order which had annulled the validity of the marriage. "Kerala High Court should not have annulled marriage between Hadiya and Shafin Jahan," the court said in its judgement.
The order comes on the plea filed by Jahan, Hadiya's husband, challenging a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with her.
Earlier the day, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had asked the NIA to continue their probe but without interfering in the marriage of Hadiya in the infamous Kerala 'love-jihad' case.
Ridiculing the NIA's invasion into Hadiya's personal decisions, the bench noted that "whether this marriage is a disguise (to commit crime) is a separate issue". Justice Dipak Misra reiterated that no investigation can be allowed on the status of marriage. "How can the HC annul a marriage between two consenting adults under Article 226 of Constitution of India," he asked referring to an earlier order by the Kerala High Court. "Let's go to the extreme that the marriage is a disguise to crime. Even then you can prosecute the offenders but not the marital status," the CJI emphasised.
Advocate Maninder Singh, the lawyer appearing for the NIA, submitted to the Supreme Court that the probe is almost complete in the case. NIA adhered to its earlier stand that Hadiya's conversion and marriage had been a ploy to hatch terrorist activities in the country.