Kerala 'love jihad': The curious case of Hadiya aka Akhila

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The Supreme Court has cancelled a Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya.

Hadiya, the 24-year-old woman who was born to a Hindu couple in Kerala, made headlines after she converted to Islam and married a Muslim man against wishes of her parents. (Photo: File)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday announced the perfect Women's Day present by scrapping the Kerala high court order that had annulled alleged 'love jihad' victim Hadiya aka Akhila's marriage with her husband Shafin Jahan.

While restoring her marriage, the apex court said Hadiya was free to live with her husband Shafin Jahan and "pursue her endeavours", also mentioning that the Kerala High Court should not have intervened.

Hadiya, the 24-year-old woman who was born to a Hindu couple in Kerala, made headlines after she converted to Islam and married a Muslim man against wishes of her parents.

Timeline of events in Hadiya case:

May 2017: Kerala HC annuls Hadiya's marriage

The Kerala High on May 24 annulled the marriage on a complaint by her father terming it as an instance of 'love jihad'. The high court, while declaring the marriage as "null and void", had described the case as an instance of 'love jihad' and ordered the state police to conduct probe into such cases. It then handed her to the custody of her parents in Kerala's Kottayam district.

September 2017: Shafin Jahan moves SC

Following this, Hadiya's husband Shafin Jahan challenged the HC order and moved the apex court. Jahan on September 20 approached the apex court seeking recall of its order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case of conversion and marriage of Hadiya. 

Shafin urged the Supreme Court to call off its order saying, "NIA isn't being fair".

The NIA submitted to the court that Hadiya's is an example of "psychological kidnapping", there is evidence of nearly 90 "similar cases" of indoctrination and radicalisation in Kerala, that the court should not go by her statement. Evidence adduced by the NIA showed that claims that Hadiya met Shafin Jehan through matrimony website '' was "totally false and entirely bogus".

October 2017: SC says father cannot hold custody of Hadiya

The Supreme Court indicated that it would re-consider its earlier decision to order a probe by the NIA into the 'love jihad' controversy and said prima facie it was of the view that the father cannot hold custody of his 24-year-old girl.

Giving this indication a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Kanwilkar and DY Chandrachud also disapproved the Kerala High Court’s order nullifying the marriage.

November 2017: SC allows Hadiya out of father's custody to resume studies in Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court allowed Hadiya alias Akhila, to be freed from her father's custody and resume her studies at a Salem-based homeopathic college after she repeatedly pleaded that she wanted the freedom to make her own choices.

January 2018: SC says NIA cannot investigate the marital status of Hadiya and Shafin

The Supreme Court said the NIA could continue with its probe into the alleged love jihad case of Kerala but it cannot investigate the marital status of the man and the woman.

February 2018: Hadiya says she is a Muslim, wants to remain as Shafin's wife

Hadiya filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that she is a Muslim and wanted to remain as a Muslim. She also stated that she wanted to remain as the wife of Shafin Jahan, the Muslim man who married her.