Kochi: The bride at the centre of an interfaith marriage row has told the Kerala High Court that she left with her Muslim lover on her own accord. She refuted the claims of her parents that she was forced to marry the man from another religious community.
Joisna Mary Joseph, whose marriage with a Muslim man has triggered a controversy in Kerala, appeared before the court on Tuesday morning.
The girl's fundamental rights cannot be denied, the court observed, after Joisna expressed her intent to go with Shejin.
She also told the court that she was not held in captivity.
Last week the court had ordered that Joisna be presented before it as it considered a habeas corpus writ filed by her father Joseph who claimed that his daughter was taken away against her will. He also sought a probe into the matter by an agency from outside the state.
Joisna's interfaith marriage with Shejin, a local DYFI leader, has stirred up a political storm after the bride's relatives alleged "love jihad", with a senior CPM leader supporting the charge, only to retract his statement later.
The couple has, however, denied all the allegations and Joisna had earlier itself told media that she decided to live with Shejin at her own will.
Joisna had left her home in Kodenchery in Kozhikode district on April 9 to marry Shejin.