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Hadiya has the right to choose; NIA can’t probe her marital status, says Supreme Court

Hadiya has the right to choose; NIA can’t probe her marital status, says Supreme Court

In an important twist in the controversial Hadiya case, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday said that the NIA can’t investigate Hadiya’s marital status, stating that “she is an adult and hence she can decide on her marriage.” The NIA can carry on its probe on the religious conversions in Kerala, the court said.

Hearing a petition filed by Shafin S Jahan, Hadiya’s husband, against the decision of the Kerala high court to annul their marriage, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed that the marriage of the duo could not be cancelled as Hadiya, while summoned by the apex court, had said that she married Shafin on her own.

“We are not concerned with it (probe). Whether you carry on your investigation or arrest someone, we are not concerned,” the bench which also comprises justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said.

While the NIA informed the court that it had made substantial progress in the investigation, the bench said, “You can investigate it but you cannot investigate about their marital status.”

The court also stated that it would be looking into a judgment pronounced by the Kerala high court which annulled the marriage of the duo while hearing a habeas corpus filed by KM Ashokan, Hadiya’s father.

Postponing the case to February 22 for further hearing, the bench said “we are only concerned with the choice of an adult to marry someone.”

Hadiya, who was under the custody of her father after the high court order, was released from the illegal custody and sent to the college to pursue her studies by the Supreme Court of India on November 27, 2017.