The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the conversion and marriage of a Hindu girl in Kerala in 2016.
The court said it will take a view in the case after considering the report by NIA, inputs from Kerala Police and after talking to the woman, Akhila Ashokan, who converted to Islam before marrying Shafin Jahan, a Muslim man in December previous year.
The Kerala High Court had nullified the marriage of the converted girl with Jahan.
A bench of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, while ordering the NIA probe, also appointed retired SC judge, Justice R V Raveendran, to monitor the probe.
The court also said that it would call in Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, to hear her version before delivering the verdict in the case.
Appearing for Shafin Jahan, the petitioner who had approached the court for his wife, senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Haris Beeran said the NIA "has many U-turns to its credit" and the court should first talk to the woman in question.
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The counsel for Kerala government reportedly submitted that it had no objections in the NIA probe. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, representing NIA, said: "the entity involved into issue had some connections to banned organisation SIMI".
Jahan said that it was an insult to the independence of women in the country. "There is a pattern to convert Hindu girls and get them married to Muslim men", it said. "Therefore we would speak to her at the last stage before passing any orders", they said.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising and Sibal opposed the name and suggested that since it was a inter-faith controversy the apex court must be careful in choosing a retired judge who should be not be a resident of Kerala. The girl's father KM Ashokan had alleged that it was a case of fraudulent conversion.
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 woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan.
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