fbpx

Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

Write a review

  • Please wait...

A welcome quietus: on Hadiya case verdict

The Supreme Court finally ends unjustified curbs on Hadiya’s personal freedom

Hadiya has at last won her freedom. The curious aspect of her case is that it took such a long time for the courts to acknowledge that the 25-year-old woman from Kerala enjoys as much freedom of choice in her marriage as in her religious belief. The Kerala High Court had caused quite a muddle when it annulled her marriage solely on the suspicion that it was a ruse to scuttle habeas corpus proceedings before it. On her father’s complaint that she had been indoctrinated and brainwashed into embracing Islam, and his fear that she was a victim of a movement to convert Hindu women and send them to overseas battle zones, the high court ordered her confinement in her parents’ home. The Supreme Court’s categorical ruling that the high court was wrong in invalidating a marriage under its writ jurisdiction constitutes a welcome end to the unjustified curtailment of her freedom of movement and her life choices. The verdict, for which detailed reasons are yet to be pronounced, restores the liberty of Ms. Hadiya, who chose to convert to Islam more than a year ago and later married a Muslim man. Last November, the apex court had freed her from her parents’ custody and allowed her to complete her internship as part of a homoeopathy course she had taken up in Tamil Nadu. However, even this was somewhat unsatisfactory, as it appeared to be a compromise between being in parental custody and being allowed to live with her husband.

 

It is possible that her father, K.M. Asokan, was gripped by fear as her conversion came amid reports of radical groups recruiting young people on behalf of the Islamic State. The high court did not question her conversion, but suspected the veracity of her claim that she was married, as it happened in a day’s break between hearings. However, these facts were not enough for the court to annul the marriage and label it a “sham”. The court made odd observations on how a woman’s marriage requires the involvement of her parents and that Ms. Hadiya was “at a vulnerable age”. Even in the Supreme Court, Ms. Hadiya could explain to the judges that she stood by her marriage to Shafin Jahan only after other parties had advanced arguments on “indoctrination” and “conspiracy” and the National Investigation Agency had its say. Finally, the court has now given primacy to her view. The implications of her ordeal are disquieting: it is not difficult in this country to question the life choices of an adult woman by casting doubts on her volition and personal autonomy, and her freedom to choose her way of life can sometimes be judicially curtailed. While a lawful investigation into organised recruitment by radical groups must not be impeded, courts should strive even harder to protect personal freedoms without being swayed by mere suspicion.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Course Curriculum