In Love Jihad Case, Lawyer Told Off By Court For Raising Kerala BJP Rally

The father of the Kerala-based woman claimed the groom, 27-year-old Shafin Jahan, had links with ISIS. He said his daughter, Akhila Ashokan, did not know what was best for her. The High Court has annulled the marriage.

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In Love Jihad Case, Lawyer Told Off By Court For Raising Kerala BJP Rally

'Kerala love jihad case': The woman's father claimed she had been lured into the marriage.


New Delhi:  The Kerala love jihad case faced a roadblock today as the Supreme Court refused to hear it, saying the advocate representing the man was mixing law and politics. Pulling up the advocate, the court said his arguments were "inexcusable" and that he had "bulldozed" his own case.

The top court has to decide whether a high court order annulling the marriage between a doctor from Kerala and a man working as a manager in Muscat, stands.

The woman's father has alleged that the groom, 27-year-old Shafin Jahan, had links with ISIS. His 24-year-old daughter, Akhila Ashokan, who called herself Hadiya after her conversion and wedding, did not know what was best for her, he had contended. The high court had annulled the marriage in May and gave the woman's custody to her father.

Today, Mr Jahan's lawyer Dushant Dave argued that the atmosphere in Kerala had been "vitiated" during the ongoing 15-day foot march of the BJP that was led in part by Amit Shah and joined in by senior leaders of the party including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In his address, Yogi Adityanath had even cited this case to accuse the Left-led government of not taking steps to check a "dangerous trend like love jihad".

"This is politics -- Amit Shah going to Kerala vitiating the atmosphere. And the UP Chief Minister going there raising love jihad issue," Mr Dave said today.

But the court severely criticised this line of argument. "It is a pure question of law whether HC can nullify a marriage in a habeas corpus petition," said Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra.  

"These kind of arguments can't be permitted and tolerated. The way you have argued is inexcusable.... We can't allow you to bring in names of politicians here without any relevance to the case," the court added.

The lawyer's comments were a response to the National Investigation Agency's findings. Last month, the court had also asked the agency to check if Muslim extremist groups were radicalising Hindu women and recruiting them for terror groups.

The agency, which had also been asked by the top court to investigate if there was any coercion in the inter-religion marriages, today told the court that it found an "emerging trend" in the conversions.


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