Only Hadiya has right to decide on her choices: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court said that the marital status of Hadiya cannot be questioned and said NIA probe will have no bearing on the legitimacy of Hadiya’s choice.

“A major woman can’t be forced to live with her parents. Only Hadiya had a right to decide on her choices,” said the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, reported News18.

The apex court has been hearing Hadiya’s case after Shafin Jahan, husband of Hadiy approached the top court following Kerala High Court, annulling his marriage with Hadiya.

“Can a court annul a marriage when both the man and the woman are adults? Will deal with only this question of law,” the court added.

The SC will hear the matter in the case on February 22.​

“We expect the NIA to file a report & the court to permit the girl to continue her studies. We are happy that she is safe. Let’s see what happens,” A. Raghunath, one of the counsels of Hadiya’s father noted after the hearing.

While Hadiya’s parents have been alleging that her marriage was a case of love jihad and that she was converted to Islam forcibly, Hadiya has refuted these claims so far. Hadiya told the Supreme Court that she wanted to be with her husband Shafin Jahan.

The 24-year-old has been in the headlines after she became a Muslim, following her marriage to Jahan. Hadiya said she had married Jahan out of her own will and not forcibly. During the course of the hearing, Hadiya, who was born as Akhila Ashokan, also said she wanted freedom and to see her husband after the top court asked whether she would prefer to continue studies.

Meanwhile, counsel for Hadiya’s father, Rajendran, argued that the material submitted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) should be looked into, while saying a modus operandi exists for conversion. Earlier, the NIA had submitted a status report in a sealed cover to the top court in connection with the case.

With ANI inputs