New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into a case where the marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim man after her conversion was annulled by the Kerala High Court as it amounted to ‘Love Jihad’.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said the investigation into the matter will be supervised by former Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran. It directed the probe agency to furnish the report to it after completing the investigation.
The SC said it will take a view after considering NIA’s report, inputs from Kerala Police and after talking to the woman.
The direction came after NIA told the apex court that love jihad is for real. “There is a pattern to convert Hindu girls and get them married to Muslim men,” NIA told SC.
The Kerala government did not oppose an NIA investigation into the matter.
On June 10, the SC had allowed NIA to access all records of the investigation into the case to get a “whole picture”.
The issue reached the apex court as Kerala-native Shafin Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage by the Kerala High Court which ordered the state police to probe such cases. Jahan, who had married a Hindu woman last December, had moved the SC after the Kerala High Court annulled his marriage, saying that it was an insult to the independence of women in the country.
The SC had directed the Kerala DGP to share records of the probe conducted so far with the NIA “so as to enable them be alive to the situation as present”.
The court noted it has asked the specialised agency to weigh in for a “neutral and unbiased assistance” in the matter and to get a view on investigation carried out by the Kerala police after the May order by the HC.
“If there are issues going beyond the purview of Kerala, they should be able to assist us. Is this a small pocket individual issue or is it an issue that has wider ramifications that should concerns us? We want them to help us in this determination,” the bench told advocate Harris Beeran, who appeared for the Muslim husband.
Ashokan KM, the father of the woman, had alleged that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.
Questioning the need for an NIA probe, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Why is the NIA probing this? Then they should make it a national security issue. If someone wants to convert as per the Constitution, how is it love jihad? I am shocked at his development. I want to see how the PM reacts to this issue?”
“Can (BJP leader) Subramanian Swamy define love jihad? Why don’t we convert into a Hindu rashtra,” he told CNN-News18.
The NIA has recently conducted probe into some cases of ‘love jihad’ in which women were allegedly being sent to Syria to join the ISIS.
The Kerala 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.