Supreme Court agrees Hadiya has the right to choice

Last Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017, 23:34
Supreme Court agrees Hadiya has the right to choice
Supreme Court on Monday removed Hadiya from the custody of her parents and ordered that she be sent to her college in Salem, Tamil Nadu, to complete her studies. The College Dean has been appointed her guardian and, she is to be treated like any other hostel student.

Hadiya deposed before the SC that she wants her freedom, that she has been in unlawful custody for the last 11 months and going forward, wants her husband to be her guardian so she can complete her education and be a good citizen.

The NIA submitted its 100-page report on forced conversions to the Supreme Court. It also questioned the role of the organisation ‘Sathya Sarani’ where Hadiya took temporary refuge from her parents, stating that Hadiya was forcibly converted to Islam by the Popular Front of India (PFI) and brainwashed by ‘hypnotic counselling’.

The Court reportedly commented on this aspect, wondering whether the aspect of conversion in Kerala must be delinked from the Hadiya case. The matter has been adjourned till the third week of January.

Hadiya, who went by the name Akhila before she converted to Islam has been caught in a legal maelstrom since 2016, the subject of two habeas corpus petitions filed by her father Ashokan. The first petition was dismissed, after which in August 2016, Ashokan filed the second habeas corpus petition, alleging that Hadiya was going to be forcibly married off so she could be taken out of the country and that she was in the clutches of radicalised Muslims.

On December 21 Akhila had claimed to have married a Shafin Jahan two days before. This move angered the High Court, which on May 24 annulled the marriage and called it a ‘sham’. Shafin Jahan then filed a Special Leave Petition against the HC order in the Supreme Court, which then ordered an NIA probe into the incident.

The order of May 2017 continues to rely on this obfuscated reasoning, completely devoid of any legal merit. The High Court was unable to accept that Hadiya delved into the study of Islam as this is not “normal human conduct of a girl aged 21 years”.
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