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Kerala High Court seeks status of police action on complaint by father alleging illegal detention of Hadiya

Background

In 2016, Asokan, moved the Kerala High Court with a similar habeas corpus petition alleging that Jahan had detained her illegally.

In a judgement dated 25 May, 2017, a division bench of the Kerala High Court annulled her marriage terming it to be a “sham” and directed that Hadiya be placed in the protective custody of her Hindu parents or an institution, so that she is prevented from being a further victim of “love jihad”. The High Court also directed a detailed inquiry into the role of various organisations involved in the case.

However, Jahan filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against the High Court judgement which was criticised for trammeling upon the decisional autonomy of an adult woman, and had also given rise to a wave of protests across Kerala.

In 2018, in a significant judgment, the Supreme Court set aside the judgment of the Kerala High Court. However, the Court held that the investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the matter will continue.

“The High Court unwarrantably took exception to the same forgetting that parental love or concern cannot be allowed to fluster the right of choice of an adult in choosing a man to whom she gets married,” the judgment stated.

The apex court further stated that the High Court erred in reflecting upon social radicalization and other aspects. It opined that if there was any criminality in any sphere, it was for law enforcement agency to do the needful.

The NIA later closed the case.

Source: Barandbench

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