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SC directs Kerala police to assist NIA in Muslim man’s annulled marriage case

Shafin Jahan’s marriage with a Hindu woman was annulled by the Kerala high court describing it as a case of “love jihad”.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2017 16:44 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,NIA,Kerala police
File photo of the Supreme Court of India.(HT Photo)

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Kerala police to hand over its probe report to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and provide “all assistance and cooperation” so that it could give its inputs on the plea of a Muslim man whose marriage with a Hindu woman was annulled by the Kerala high court describing it as a case of “love jihad”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar brushed aside the vehement opposition by petitioner Shafin Jahan, who had approached the court seeking access to his wife - a Hindu who converted to Islam - and setting aside of the Kerala high court order that annulled his marriage.

“We want to know whether it is an isolated case in a small pocket or if it has wider ramifications. We don’t want to be in the grey area,” the bench, also comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, told the petitioner’s counsel Haris Beeran.

The order came on NIA’s plea that said it cannot assist the bench without going through the documents related to the case.

On August 4, while issuing a notice on the man’s petition the court asked NIA to give its inputs on the matter. It had termed the case as serious and sensitive. Lawyer of the woman’s father contested the petitioner’s plea to direct personal presence of the woman, a homoeopath doctor.

Earlier in the day, the NIA rushed to the CJI court and said it needed formal orders for the agency to access case records. “Without this, we cannot give the entire picture,” additional solicitor general Maninder Singh told the bench, which agreed to hold an urgent hearing in the afternoon.

“It’s pertinent to know if the issue goes beyond the local area and whether it’s a national security issue or not. If the NIA says it’s not then that the end of the matter,” the court told Beeran.

During the last hearing, the woman’s father had agitated before the court that the Jahan was involved in a well-oiled mechanism for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.

“The two sides in the case are so opposed to one another that they cannot look at each other. It’s like a coin but we want to see both sides of the coin. We cannot close our eyes as you want us to. We want s clear picture,” the bench said after Beeran contended he was opposed to the NIA probe at present but not sharing of probe documents.

However, the court remained unconvinced and recorded in its order that the petitioner was not desirous of an independent view of the case. As per the court order, NIA will file its report before it on August 16 when the court will hear the matter again.

The court has also asked the father of the woman to bring material on record in support of his claims on the alleged marriage of his daughter.

Jahan, who had married the woman in December last year, moved the top court after the HC scrapped his marriage saying that it was an insult to the independence of women in the country.

It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.

The Kerala HC declared as “null and void” and described the case as an instance of ‘love jihad’ and ordered the state police to conduct a probe into such cases.

First Published: Aug 10, 2017 16:44 IST