Hadiya's case: NIA can't probe marital status, says Supreme Court

The court made Ms Hadiya a party in this case and sought her response about her marriage.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the NIA cannot probe the legitimacy of Hadiya’s marriage with Shafin Jahan as she has the right to decide about her choice.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said the NIA probe into the terror angle will have no bearing on the marital status of Ms Hadiya. The court made Ms Hadiya a party in this case and sought her response about her marriage. It said it cannot go into the legitimacy of the marriage, as it was either Ms Hadiya or Mr Jahan to take a call on this aspect.

The court said, “We make it clear that we are not concerned about the ongoing probe by the NIA into ‘love jihad’ cases. The only issue before us is legitimacy of the marriage, which cannot be challenged by third parties.”

Can’t question legitimacy of Hadiya’s marriage, SC tells NIA
The CJI said, “It needs no emphasis to state that attaining the age of majority in an individual’s life has its own significance. She/he is entitled to make her/his choice. The court cannot as long as the choice remains assume the role of parens patriae.

When Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the NIA said the August 16, 2017 order directing the NIA probe cannot be allowed to go waste, the bench replied, “Whether she made an independent choice or not, only she knows. She is 24-year-old. We cannot get into her thinking. You cannot probe marriage. Legitimacy of marriage can only be questioned either by the woman or the man.”

Appearing for the girl’s father, counsel Madhavi Divan argued that the marriage is merely a devise to legitimise her illegal confinement. Justice Chandrachud said, “You may be right that the marriage is solely a devise. But once Hadiya says that she is married, we cannot question the legitimacy of her choice. How can the writ of habeas corpus be issued in respect of an adult girl? Otherwise it will be a bad precedent in law.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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