Hadiya seek freedom, Supreme Court frees her from father’s clutches

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New Delhi: In a much awaited and sensational hearing, Supreme Court today asked Hadiya what she wants, she said “I want freedom” and SC sent her back to college .”I want my freedom. I was in unlawful custody till now,” Hadiya was quoted as saying in court by the TV media.

The Supreme Court ordered that Hadiya be allowed to pursue her medical studies in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district and ordered the Tamil Nadu government to ensure her safety. The next hearing of the case is on the third week in January. In an open court hearing, where Hadiya gave her testimony in Malayalam, the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra, also comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud interacted with her for about 25 minutes and decided that the 24-year-old would be able to complete her medical internship at Sivaraj Homoeopathic Medical College in Salem.

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The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra further asked Hadiya if she wanted to continue her studies on state’s expense to which she has told, “I want to but not on state’s expense when my husband can take care of me”. The court appointed dean of Salem-based homoeopathic college as Hadiya’s guardian and granted her the liberty to approach him in case of any problem. The SC further directed the college and the university concerned to re-admit Hadiya and grant her hostel facility.

The Kerala HC on May 25 had declared as “null and void” the marriage of 24-year-old Hadiya. It had described the case as an instance of ‘love jihad’ and ordered the state police to conduct probe into such cases.

Her husband Shafin Jahan, meanwhile, filed another plea in SC challenging the HC order. Jahan has claimed Hadiya, a homeopathy student in Kerala, converted to Islam of her own will two years prior to their marriage. Hadiya was a homeopathy student in Kerala when she converted to Islam and changed her name. Jahan had met her with his family in August 2016 in response to her posting on a marriage website and they got married in December 2016.

In August 2016 itself, her father Ashokan had approached high court with a habeas corpus petition, alleging his daughter had been radicalised by some organisations and they had also influenced her to marry a Muslim man so that she is out of the parents’ custody forever. He had also apprehended that there could be a plan to send her to Syria to work with extremist organisations such as IS since the man she married had been working in the Gulf.

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The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has submitted a 100-page probe report to the Apex Court. Kapil Sibal appearing for Hadiya’s husband Shafi Jahan aid that when Hadiya was here, the court should listen to her, not the NIA and that she is entitled to make decisions of her life.

On the other hand, the counsel for Hadiya’s father said, initially material submitted by NIA should be looked into, and then Hadiya should be talked to. The counsel asserted that there’s an operational apparatus existing for conversion.

The lawyer for Hadiya’s father Ashokan claimed that the “order by the High Court has not been stayed at all. So, there is no marriage as of now. She will continue with her studies. We are happy with that. She has the freedom to continue with her studies. I am appearing for her father, we are happy that she has been sent to the hostel for the completion of her studies.”

PV Dinesh, the lawyer for the Kerala state’s women’s commission told that this was an incorrect reading of the situation and the court has not prohibited Hadiya from being with Shafin Jahan.”Will now all marriages between Hindus and Muslims be scrutinised by courts like this,” Sibal asked.

With PTI inputs

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