A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday nullified marriage of a Hindu woman who had converted to Islam. The bench of Justices Surendra Mohan and Abraham Mathew passed the order after Akhila’s father, K M Ashokan, of Vaikom in Kottayam district, filed a petition before the court.
The petitioner had alleged that his daughter was converted to Islam as a strategy to recruit her for the Islamic State (IS). Of the missing Kerala youths believed to have joined the IS, a few are newly-converts. “Marriage being the most important decision in her (Akhila)’s life can only be taken with the active involvement of her parents,’’ the court said, while declaring the marriage void. “The marriage, which is alleged to have taken place, is a sham and is of no consequence in the eye of law. Her husband has no authority to act as the guardian,’’ said the court.
The court granted Ashokan the custody of his daughter, who is lodged in a hostel as per the court directive. The court directed Kottayam district police superintendent to give protection to Akhila and her father. It asked the state police chief to conduct a probe into the alleged forced conversions in Kerala and into the activities of the agencies involved. Akhila had earlier told the court her decision to embrace Islam was her own. Ashokan had last year filed a habeas corpus petition after she converted to Islam. While the petition was pending in the court, she married Shefin Jahan on December 19 last year.