New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday sought response of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Kerala government on a plea of a Muslim man challenging a High Court order annulling his marriage with a Hindu woman who had converted to Islam.
"These are very sensitive issues.. It's a serious matter... You give us all the materials you have," said the court to NIA and the father, and posted the matter for August 16.
The division bench of chief justice J.S. Khehar and justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the father of the woman to bring material on record in support of his claims on the alleged marriage of his daughter and that there was a "well-oiled systematic mechanism" for conversion and Islamic radicalization.
The bench asked father Ashokan K.M. to ensure the presence of the woman within 24 hours, if it arrives at the conclusion that her appearance was needed to ascertain facts of the case.
Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising appeared for 27-year-old Shafin Jahan and insisted that the wife of their client be produced before the court. They refuted the allegation that it was a case of 'love jihad'.
Sibal said that the woman had converted to Islam long before she met Jahan through a matrimonial site and the High Court gravely erred in annulling their marriage.
The case took an interesting turn when the court asked additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, present in the courtroom, to accept notice for the NIA.
The NIA has recently conducted probes into some cases of 'love jihad,' in which some women were allegedly being sent to Syria to join ISIS.
Jahan, who had married the woman in last December, had moved the apex court after the Kerala High Court annulled his marriage saying that it was an insult to the women's independence in the country.
Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, 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 last December.
But in August 2016 itself, her father had approached the HC with a habeas corpus petition, alleging his daughter had been radicalised by some organisations and they also influenced her to marry a Muslim man so that she is out of the parents' custody forever.
It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.
The HC, while declaring the marriage as "null and void", had described the case as an instance of 'love jihad' and ordered the state police to conduct probe into such cases.
The Kerala High Court, saying that "national interest is at stake", had asked the state police chief, to conduct an investigation into cases of love jihad and probe incidents of forced conversion.
(With inputs from PTI/IANS)