New Delhi, August 16: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe into Love Jihad– a term used by right-wing groups for alleged conspiracy in which a Muslim man marries a Hindu woman with the sole motive of getting her converted. The apex court gave the order as it was hearing a case of a Kerala man whose marriage was annulled by Kerala high court saying he married her for Love Jihad. In the hearing, the court asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe whether the problem was wider or was limited to this case.
The court also said that the probe by NIA will be monitored by retired Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran. The order was followed by the NIA submission in which the agency said that there was a pattern “to convert Hindu girls and get them married to Muslim men.”
On June 10, the court had allowed NIA to access records of the investigation conducted by Kerala police. The court had ordered the Kerala DGP to make the records available to NIA.
According to reports, the lawyer of the Muslim man asked the court to at least interview the woman before passing the judgement. The court reportedly said that it was not deciding the case before listening to the woman’s version. But the court agreed to investigate the matter further. (Also read: NIA moves SC for order to probe Muslim man’s marriage matter)
Ordering the probe, a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said before taking a final call, the court “shall require the presence of the girl”.
The bench said it would decide the issue after getting inputs from all, including the NIA, Kerala government and others.
The order came after Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, Shafeen Jahan, said the court should decide the issue after speaking to the girl.
The marriage of the converted girl with Jahan was nullified by the Kerala High Court.
Petitioner Jahan has moved the top court challenging the High Court’s decision.
The court order came as the bench was told that the NIA has in its preliminary probe found that there was a pattern as “entities” in two cases that have come to light were the same.
Senior counsel Indira Jaising told the bench that it was an inter-religious matter and the court must be careful.
(With IANS inputs)