A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking recall of its order directing the NIA to investigate a controversial case of conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim man in Kerala. The Kerala High Court had annulled the marriage terming it as an instance of ‘love jihad’, following which the man had approached the apex court.
The top court had on August 16 directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the incident under the supervision of retired apex court judge, Justice R V Raveendran.
The man has now approached the apex court seeking recall of its August 16 order besides a direction to Kerala Police to produce the woman, who is residing in her father’s house, before the court.
Petitioner Shafin Jahan, in an interim application filed in his appeal against the high court order, has referred to media reports and claimed that NIA has already started its probe “without the guidance of Justice Raveendran”.
In the plea, filed through his counsel Haris Beeran, he has claimed that as per these reports, “Justice R V Raveendran has refused to oversee the said probe by the NIA” and the agency should be directed not to proceed further with its investigation. “Therefore, now since the above reports are surfacing that NIA has already commenced investigation and already found a link, all without the guidance of Justice Raveendran, the worst fears of the petitioners have therefore been realised,” the plea said, adding, “such an investigation is clearly not fair and is against the orders of this Court”.
Jahan has claimed in his plea that the Kerala human rights commission has received several complaints regarding the detention of the woman at her father’s house.
He has also claimed that the woman has made it clear that she had accepted Islam on her own free will and after the May 24 order of the high court, she has been detained against her will and her rights have been violated. “The detenue (woman) clearly wishes to leave her parents’ home and that she is being physically abused while being under house arrest,” the plea alleged.
The apex court had directed the NIA to submit its final investigation report in the court to enable it to arrive at any conclusion in the matter.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the NIA, had earlier told the bench that prima facie it appears that woman’s conversion to Islam and her subsequent marriage to a Muslim was not an isolated incident and other such instances have come to the agency’s notice.
Jahan, who had married a Hindu woman in last December, had moved the apex court after the Kerala High Court annulled his marriage, saying it was an insult to the independence of women in the country.
The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan. It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge. Ashokan K M, the father of the woman, had alleged that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.
The high court, 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.