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Former SC Justice declines to oversee NIA probe into Kerala ‘love jihad’ case

Supreme Court has asked the NIA to probe circumstances that led to Hadiya Jehan’s conversion and subsequent marriage.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2017 09:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
RV Raveendran,Supreme Court,Hadiya
A file photo of Hadiya (24), a Hindu convert, married a Muslim youth Shefin Jehan, a Gulf returnee, in last December. (File Photo)

Former judge of the Supreme Court Justice RV Raveendran on Wednesday declined the apex court’s directive to oversee the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into Hadiya Jehan case.

The girl hailing from Kochi had converted to Islam to marry a Muslim youth but Kerala High Court had annulled her marriage citing various reasons. Later, the Supreme Court refused to stay the HC verdict and asked the NIA to probe circumstances that led to her conversion and subsequent marriage.

Initially, the Supreme Court had suggested the name of Justice KS Radhakrishnan to oversee the NIA probe but later petitioner’s lawyers said it would be ideal to appoint a judge not belonging to Kerala. So the two-judge bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and DY Chandrachud zeroed in on Justice Raveendran.

“It is a matter between myself and court. I don’t want to get into details,” Justice Raveendran said, confirming he has politely turned down the request. Now the Supreme Court will have to appoint another judge to oversee the probe into the sensational case.

After conversion, Akhila Ashokan alias Hadiya, a homeopathy doctor, had married a Muslim youth Shefin Jehan in December 2016. But her father had approached the high court saying his daughter was indoctrinated and forcibly converted. He also claimed that she would be sent to Afghanistan or Syria like the 21 people missing from the state. The high court had annulled their marriage saying it was a sham.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 00:02 IST