The matter came to the fore when Shafin Jahan, Hadiya's husband, had challenged a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with her and sending the woman to her parents' custody. File photo
The Supreme Court on Thursday restored marriage of a Kerala woman, Hadiya alias Akhila with a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, by setting aside the May 24, 2017 High Court judgement that termed the matrimonial alliance as an instance of 'Love Jihad'.
"Marriage and intimacy of relationship are the core of plurality in India, we can't go into psychological and nuerological aspects of marriage being valid or not, so far it involved two consenting adults" a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.
The court, however, allowed the NIA to continue its probe for any criminality in accordance with law, after Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted their investigation was over except interrogation of two persons who left the country against whom lookout circular was issued.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for 25-year-old girl's father Asokan K M, contended her marriage entered upon on December 19, 2016 during the habeas corpus proceedings before the HC, was sham and the husband was merely a stooge to keep her beyond the parents and the court.
He contended the marriage in the case was a fraud as she was trapped into the well-oiled conversion machinery operating over there for trafficking of people to Syria and Yemen.
"These arguments do not impress us. Can we use our extra-ordinary power to get into personal relationship," the bench said, adding if marriage is disguise to commit an offence, the offender may be arrested.
The bench said we had directed the personal presence of Hadiya alias Akhila and she appeared before this court on November 27, last and admitted her marriage with Shafin Jahan.
"We hold that the HC should not have annulled the marriage between Shafin Jahan and Hadiya alias Akhila in a habeas corpus petition," the bench said, in its brief order.
The court said its detailed judgement would be delivered later. Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, along with Indira Jaising, appearing for the husband, contended no third party can question marriage between consenting adults as it would violate their right to privacy and liberty.
"An adult woman can't be vilified by questioning her mental status or choice," they said.