Supreme Court of India has directed the Kerala Police to share the information in the Hadiya Case to National Investigating Agency to examine whether this case is an isolated one or a bigger conspiracy involved.
Today morning Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice and submitted that Centre or NIA has no materials in this Case. An application was also filed on behalf of NIA seeking permission to investigate the Case.
The Bench has rejected the opposition by the petitioner saying that 'we have not asked them to investigate the case, we have asked only to verify the files'
"Are you doubting NIA. We wanted to see whether it is an isolated case or larger issue is involved.
It is government agency. Do you think it is an external agency which you doubt. We asked ASG to accept notice on behalf of NIA.
It is just like a coin. No one can see each other and we are here to decide", CJI told the Petitioner's lawyer Haris Beeran
NIA in its application submitted that emergence of a case falling within the schedule to the 2008 Act enables the NIA to exercise its jurisdiction for conducting investigation and proceeding further in accordance with law.
"It appears that having the perception of absence of any scheduled offence, the Hon’ble High Court had required the DGP of Kerala Police to take over the investigation and in the impugned judgment, the Hon’ble High Court had not required the NIA to conduct the investigation in relation to Crime No. 21/2016".
NIA also submitted that the SLP record reveals that the Kerala Police had registered Crime No. 21/2016 u/s Section 57 of the Kerala Police Act, Sections 153A, 295A and 107 of Indian Penal Code.
The Kerala Police had filed Status Reports before the Hon’ble High Court. Some of these reports, which are placed alongwith the SLP have also been taken note of by the Hon’ble High Court in its various orders including the judgment challenged in the present case.
"It is most respectfully submitted that in the light of the above-mentioned statutory position, the NIA can proceed to conduct investigation u/s 6 of the Act, with reference to the offences which are enumerated in the Schedule to this Act. Besides and in addition to its jurisdiction under the above-mentioned Act of 2008, the NIA also undertakes investigations as and when directed by Hon’ble High Courts or by this Hon’ble Court in the exercise of its constitutional jurisdiction under Article 226 and Article 32 of the Constitution of India respectively".
The NIA submitted that appropriate order enabling the NIA to undertake the investigation would be required and necessary and would also meet the ends of justice.
The case concerns Hadiya’s conversion to Islam, and her subsequent marriage to a Muslim man Shafin Jahan. In a judgment rendered on 25 May this year, a Division Bench of Kerala High Court had called her marriage a “sham”, and had annulled it, directing her return to the protective custody of her Hindu parents.
The Bench comprising Justice Surendra Mohan and Justice Abraham Mathew had made some controversial observations like: “a girl aged 24 years is weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways” and “her marriage being the most important decision in her life, can also be taken only with the active involvement of her parents”.
Hadiya’s husband had then filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court, challenging this decision. He had contended that the marriage was annulled without any legal basis, and had submitted, “…the impugned order is an insult to the independence of women of India as it completely takes away their right to think for themselves and brands them as persons who are weak and unable to think and make decisions for themselves. That the same is against their fundamental rights and should be struck down”.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had thereafter directed the NIA and the Kerala Government to submit all documents related to the case. It had also directed Hadiya’s father Ashokan to submit proof of his claim that Hadiya was converted after being radicalized. The Bench had posted the matter for 16 August.