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Gripping hearing today in #Hadiya case in Supreme Court: Read Proceedings

Gripping hearing today in #Hadiya case in Supreme Court: Read Proceedings

Murali Krishnan

The brief but eventful hearing today in the Hadiya case was definitely an indicator of how gripping the case could be in the days to come.

A Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud grilled Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising, who appeared for Hadiya’s husband, before issuing notice to the respondents – Hadiya’s father and State of Kerala.

Advocate Madhavi Divan appeared for Ashokan, father of Hadiya, who is respondent 1 in the matter.

When the case came up for hearing, Sibal submitted that Hadiya should be produced before the court.

“They have declared a marriage void. How can this be? She should be produced before the court. Your Lordships should interview her.”

Madhavi Divan, however, strongly objected.

“Please keep this matter on Tuesday. Heavens will not fall. The matter is very sensitive. There is far more than meets the eye”, submitted Divan, while also stating that the affiliations of the husband and the woman who converted Hadiya are all under scanner.

Sibal retorted by stating that all these should be shown on record.

“Whatever she has stated, let her show it on record.”

“I will”, retorted Divan.

“Do it now”, said Sibal.

The Bench then proceeded to ask questions to Sibal and Jaising. CJI Khehar said,

“Why does she have three names? We will not meet her unless it is absolutely necessary.”

“It is absolutely necessary your lordships”, replied Jaising.

It was then Justice Chandrachud’s turn. Quoting from the judgment, he said,

“The judgment says that the High Court interviewed her and she could not give coherent answers.”

Sibal vehemently denied it.

Chandrachud responded by saying that heavens will not fall if Hadiya is not produced.

“She has been in custody since May 20. She is not a child”, replied Sibal.

“Did she know the person whom she married?”, asked CJI Khehar.

Sibal said that she did not and that it was an arranged marriage through a matrimonial website.

“She converted to Islam much before marriage. They started looking for alliances in August through matrimonial website and the marriage took place in December”, said Sibal.

“Does the man whom she married have criminal antecedents?”,  probed Khehar J.

Sibal vehememtly denied the same.

“No my lord. Where is the record for his antecedents?”, he asked.

“Your own Facebook posts.”, was Chandrachud’s reply.

The Court said that it will have to hear the respondents before passing any order.

It then issued noticed to Hadiya’s father, Ashokan, the State of Kerala, and the National Investigation Agency. It also directed Ashokan to submit all relevant material on record within a week.

Further, the Court also took an undertaking from the respondents stating that Hadiya would be produced before the Court within 24 hours, should the Court require her appearance.

The matter will now be heard on August 16.

Hadiya had converted to Islam of her own volition, and subsequently married a Muslim man Shafin Jahan. In a judgement dated 25 May this year, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court annulled her marriage, terming it to be a “sham” and directed that Hadiya be placed in the protective custody of her Hindu parents.

Her husband subsequently preferred an SLP before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the High Court.

Image of Kapil Sibal taken from here.