‘Not love jihad’: Muslim man moves SC as Kerala HC scraps wedding to Hindu woman
Love jihad is a term used by right-wing Hindu groups to describe inter-faith marriages which they say is an Islamist conspiracy to convert Hindu women through marriage or coercion.india Updated: Jul 17, 2017 18:39 IST
A Muslim man has moved the Supreme Court challenging a Kerala high court order scrapping his marriage with a Hindu woman to stop what it said was a case of so-called love jihad, his lawyer told HT on Thursday.
Shafin Jahan, 27, filed a special leave petition in the top court on Wednesday saying the lower court’s order was an “an insult to the independence of woman in India”.
In January last year, the same court gave legal sanctity to his wife’s conversion as she was an adult. Jahan has argued that his 24-year-old wife, who changed her name to Hadiya, did not convert to Islam for marrying him.
Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, is a homeopath doctor.
Love jihad is a term used by right-wing Hindu groups to describe inter-faith marriages which they say is an Islamist conspiracy to convert Hindu women through marriage or coercion.
Shafin’s lawyer Haris Beeran said the petitioner had responded to an advertisement for marriage by Hadiya. “The two did not know each other before that,” he told HT.
He added that the woman’s father had twice moved the high court against his daughter’s decision to convert.
“Both the times, Hadiya tendered affidavits affirming she converted on her own volition and the HC accepted her stand,” he added.
In is petition, Shafin said his wife embraced Islam two years prior to their marriage and hence there was no possibility of coerced conversion.
On a petition by Hadiya’s father, the HC had on May 25 declared the couple’s marriage as a sham and directed the woman to remain in the protective custody of her parents. Her father had also told the HC that she was likely to be sent to Afghanistan, where 21 missing youth from the state are believed to have joined Islamist rebels. Six of them were converts.
Saying that “national interest is at stake”, the high court also asked the Kerala director general of police (DGP) to conduct an investigation into cases of love jihad and probe incidents of forced conversion.
The verdict had sparked a wave of protests across Kerala, with rights groups criticising the court for curtailing the rights of an adult woman.
Some outfits staged a violent march outside the HC and termed the judge an “RSS agent”.