19 April 2022 5:47 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday disposed of a habeas corpus plea moved by the father of a Christian woman Jyotsna Mary Joseph, who married a Muslim DYFI region secretary Shejin. The father had claimed that his daughter was taken away against her will and was kept in illegal detention while raising 'love jihad' allegations in the matter. A Division Bench of Justice V.G. Arun and Justice C.S...
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday disposed of a habeas corpus plea moved by the father of a Christian woman Jyotsna Mary Joseph, who married a Muslim DYFI region secretary Shejin. The father had claimed that his daughter was taken away against her will and was kept in illegal detention while raising 'love jihad' allegations in the matter.
A Division Bench of Justice V.G. Arun and Justice C.S Sudha decided to dispose of the petition after hearing the woman who confirmed that she was not illegally detained and that she had taken the decision voluntarily. She also added that she did not intend to meet her family yet and that she will meet them after the situation has been diffused.
The Court noted that her decision seemed to be a well-thought one particularly since she was a 26-year-old woman working abroad. The Bench held that she was mature to make her own decisions while adding that the bride and groom were free to decide their future under the Special Marriage Act.
"We have interacted with the detenue. She categorically states that she has decided to interact with Shejin of her own free will and not under any sort of compulsion. She further states that as of now she is not interested in interacting with her parents which she will do at a later stage. Copy of notice of intended marriage has been submitted to the Marriage Officer, Kodanchery. Taking note of the categorical stance of the detenue and being convinced that there is no illegal detention, the petition is closed."
The father had also alleged that the couple was likely to leave the country. The Court said that it was up to them to decide where they wanted to stay and that it cannot interfere in such matters.
Shejin, a native of Kodancherry, had eloped with Jyotsna, a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and they recently got married. The couple was in a relationship for seven months. The incident had sparked 'love jihad' row across the State with the woman's father alleging that she was being illegally detained by Shejin since they had not heard from her since the day she left.
However, the newlyweds had denied all allegations of live jihad as soon as it started taking social media by storm, igniting intense campaigns against the ruling party.
It was also alleged that he had lost faith in the Kerala police since they could not bring his daughter back to him, thereby seeking a probe into the matter by an agency from outside the State.
The interfaith marriage had stirred up a political storm after the bride's relatives alleged love jihad. Meanwhile, CPI(M) made it clear that there was nothing unnatural in interfaith marriages and the campaign of 'love jihad' was a fabrication by other opposition parties.
Case Title: Joseph v. State of Kerala
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 183