Monday, Feb 19, 2018 | Last Update : 03:23 AM IST
A bench headed by a former chief justice had transferred the case from the Kerala police to NIA.
The Supreme Court has changed track in the love jihad case. Having ordered a probe by NIA into the conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim in Kerala, the court has now correctly ruled that father cannot have control over a major daughter who is 24 years old and who may have married a man of her own free will. The court is also questioning the very need for a NIA probe, although a thorough probe may be necessary in the case to bring out the truth as allegations have been made of a pattern of enticing girls into marriage in order to promote one religion over another. The top court’s query on how the Kerala high court ordered the annulment of the marriage of an adult woman is a leading question in law that must be looked into. The fact that the top court is prepared to examine the vital issue of a marriage being annulled by a high court is to be welcomed.
A bench headed by a former chief justice had transferred the case from the Kerala police to NIA. The issue had become embroiled in politics with right-wing parties alleging that a pattern of enticements exists in a couple of states like Kerala and Karnataka. In fact, the BJP has been accentuating the issue in the course of the padayatra in Kerala featuring the party boss Amit Shah as well as the chief minister of UP, a former local chieftain who is being promoted as a national figurehead. No investigation fairly carried out will shake the foundations of inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, which are matters of the heart of young people. While it is important to find out if there is any pattern to the so-called love jihad, a multi-religious society like India has had a very long history of inter-faith marriages and that will not and should not stop.