Shafi Jehan, the man Hadiya married, was last week questioned by the National Investigation Agency
Next Monday, Akhila Ashokan, the Kerala woman who converted to Islam and took the name Hadiya, will appear in the Supreme Court to state before judges why she married a Muslim man Shafi Jehan. Police and security personnel will accompany the family, who had booked train tickets from Kochi, said the lawyers, but are now expected to fly down to Delhi.
Already, a pitched battle has begun between lawyers representing Mr Jehan and her father KM Ashokan, who has sought that Hadiya's appearance
in court be in-camera or closed to the public. He also wants Mr Jehan denied any access to Hadiya during her stay in the national capital.
Shafi Jehan, who was last week questioned by the National Investigation Agency or NIA for over six hours, has requested the Supreme Court to stop further investigation by the elite agency which probes terror cases. The NIA is investigating the allegation made by Hadiya's father that she married Shafi Jehan in a case of "love jihad, in which vulnerable Hindu women are allegedly being lured by Muslim men as a form of recruitment by terrorist groups, including the ISIS.
The Supreme Court is hearing Mr Jehan's petition against the Kerala High Court's decision in May this year annulling his marriage
to Hadiya, who was ordered by the judge to return to live with her parents in Kerala's Kottayam district. In August, the Supreme Court had ordered the NIA investigation.
Mr Jehan's application yesterday is filed against the examining officer R Vikraman, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the NIA. It alleges that the investigation is "contemptuous'' and should be stopped. His lawyers have pointed out that the Kerala High Court has said all inter-faith marriages need not be seen as "love jihad." They have also asked why the agency continued its investigation despite the former Supreme Court judge assigned to oversee the probe, declining to do so.
The Supreme Court had last month said it wishes to hear from Hadiya on November 27, the truth about her marriage, noting that her consent is prime as an adult. Shafi Jehan has opposed Mr Ashokan's appeal for an in-camera appearance for Hadiya as she is expected to reiterate the position she took in the High Court - that the marriage is with her consent. Her family maintains that she has been "brainwashed".