Remember Privacy Is Fundamental Right: Hadiya's Father To Supreme Court

Hadiya's father KM Ashokan, has told the Supreme Court that the privacy and safety of his family, including his daughter, should be concerns for judges.

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Remember Privacy Is Fundamental Right: Hadiya's Father To Supreme Court

Hadiya has been asked to appear in the top court for an interaction with the judges.

New Delhi:  Hadiya, who was known as Akhila Ashokan before she converted to Islam, must not testify about her marriage in a public hearing, her father has said to the Supreme Court, alleging that "it will turn into a reality show."

Hadiya, 25, has been asked to appear in the top court on Monday for an interaction with the judges - to explain if she married Shafi Jehan a year ago of her own free will.

Their marriage was annulled in May by the Kerala High Court after her father, KM Ashokan, said that his daughter was among a series of vulnerable young Hindu women who are being recruited by terror groups through love and marriage. There is a pattern of "love jihad" in Kerala, the country's top investigating agency told the Supreme Court in August before being granted permission to deconstruct Hadiya's marriage.

A few weeks ago, delegates from the National Commission of Women visited Hadiya in her father's house, where she was legally ordered to live after her marriage was annulled. The team said that she appeared safe and healthy. Their house call followed a video shared by an activist, Rahul Easwar, in which she accused her father of physically abusing her.

Mr Ashokan has told the Supreme Court that the privacy and safety of his family, including his daughter, should be concerns for judges. His petition for an in camera or closed-door hearing cited the landmark August verdict in which the Supreme Court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right.

Hadiya's husband, Shafin Jehan, was interrogated last week for six hours by the National Investigation Agency or NIA. He has challenged the annulment of his marriage as well as the counter-terror agency's scrutiny of it. Shafi Jehan, who met Hadiya through an ad she placed on an Islamist matrimonial website is affiliated to the Popluar Front of India, a Kerala outfit accused of terror links by the NIA.

His lawyers have pointed out that the Kerala High Court has said all inter-faith marriages need not be seen as "love jihad."

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