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Muslim Man Who Converted to Hinduism For Marriage Moves SC For Wife's Custody

Mohd Ibrahim Sidhiqui, who had converted to Hinduism and taken the name of Aryan Arya, challenged the Chhattisgarh High Court order, saying it had erroneously declined to direct his wife's family to release her to him.

PTI

Updated:August 19, 2018, 9:26 PM IST
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Muslim Man Who Converted to Hinduism For Marriage Moves SC For Wife's Custody
A file image of the Supreme Court of India. (Photo Credit: PTI)
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New Delhi: A 33-year-old Muslim man, who converted to Hinduism to marry a 23-year-old Hindu girl in Chhattisgarh, has moved the Supreme Court seeking the release of his wife from her parents' custody.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D Y Chandrachud sought response from Chhattisgarh government and asked for a copy of the petition to be served to the state government counsel.

"The superintendent of police of district Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh, is directed to keep Anjali Jain, daughter of Ashok Kumar Jain, respondent No.4 herein, present before this court on August 27, 2018," the bench said and directed court officials to communicate a copy of the order to the SP.

Mohd Ibrahim Sidhiqui, who had converted to Hinduism and taken the name of Aryan Arya, challenged the Chhattisgarh High Court order, saying it had erroneously declined to direct his wife's family to release her to him.

He said there was a threat to his and his wife's life and she was being deprived of her liberty against her wishes by her family members.

Arya said he was being threatened by his wife's family and some other orthodox members of the society.
He said his wife had told the high court that she was a major of 23 years of age and got married to him by her own choice.

The high court had given her choice to either live with her parents or be accommodated in a hostel.

According to the petitioner, both he and his wife are residents of Dhamtari district and have had the relationship for the past 2-3 years.

In February 23, 2018, he converted to Hinduism and took the name Aryan Arya to marry the woman. They subsequently got married at the Arya Samaj Temple at Raipur, Chhattisgarh, on February 25, 2018, as per Hindu traditions.

In his petition, he said his wife Anjali Jain returned to her parents' home at Dhamtari but did not immediately inform her parents about the marriage.

He said his wife's parent's somehow came to know about their marriage and the couple then planned for her to move out of her parents' home without informing them.

She left her home on June 30, but policemen found her before she could meet Arya and took her to a police station and then to a Sakhi Centre shelter home for women.

Arya alleged that police recorded a wrong statement that the woman wanted to stay with her parents and handed over her custody to her father.

Challenging her custody to her father and inaction of police, Arya moved the high court, which proceeded to direct Anjali Jain and her father to be produced in the court on July 30.

The high court, after interacting with Anjali Jain, held that she had denied of any illegal detention by her parents' and it recorded that her parents' have serious reservations with regard to the relationship, or the socalled marriage between her and the appellant.

The petition said the court had ruled that "certain breathing space and time is required to be given in a free atmosphere to Anjali to make up her own independent mind".

The case is similar to Hadiya case of last year where a Hindu girl from Kerala converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man and the apex court on April 9, set aside the Kerala High Court verdict and restored the inter-faith marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan, saying the former had "absolute autonomy over her person."

Observing that the faith of a person was intrinsic to a person's meaningful existence, the top court had said that "choosing a faith is the substratum of individuality and sans it, the right of choice becomes a shadow."
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