SC orders NIA to probe case of alleged Love Jihad in Kerala

Krishnanand Tripathi
FILE: Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar. Photo - PTI

FILE: Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar.
Photo – PTI

Supreme Court on Wednesday directed National Investigation Agency to probe the cases of alleged Love Jihad (marriages of non-Muslim girls with Muslim men through allurement) in Kerala and to find out that the marriage of a Kerala girl Akhila Ashokan with a Kerala resident Shafin Jahan was an isolated case or there was some wider angle to it.

The court also appointed retired Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran to supervise the NIA investigation.

The court said it would take a view on the matter after getting the NIA report, the report of Kerala police and also taking in the view of the Kerala girl in question Akhila Ashokan whose marriage with a Muslim man Shafin Jahan was annulled by Kerala High Court on a plea filed by her parents.

NIA told the top court that prima facie it was of the view that the marriage of Akhila Ashokan was not an isolated incident.

In the earlier hearings, Shafin Jahan had opposed the NIA’s plea to peruse the details of the investigation carried out by the Kerala police.

Earlier the top court of the country had suggested the name of retired Supreme Court justice KS Radhakrishnan to supervise the NIA probe. However, the name of KS Radhakrishna was dropped as Kapil Sibal and India Jaising, the counsels appearing for Kerala man Shafin Jahan, opposed his nomination saying that the issue involved the people of two different faiths and the top court should be sensitive in this matter.

However, it is unclear why the name of justice KS Radhakrishnan was opposed by Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising.

The issue of alleged Love Jihad or marriages of non-Muslim girls with Muslim men through allurement had become a politically sensitive in Kerala.

In June 2012, then Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy had informed the state legislator in a written reply that between 2009 and 2012, 2667 young women were converted to Islam in the state, of which 2195 were Hindus and 492 were Christians.

Chandy furnished this information to the state legislature in response to an unstarred question raised by K K Latika, a CPI(M) MLA.

In his written reply Chandy stated that as against this number of young women converted during 2009-12 to Christianity was 79 and only two were converted to Hinduism.