Finally, the Supreme Court declared today what Hadiya had been saying for months – no one can decide the legitimacy of her marriage but herself and her husband.
The top court observed today that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) could not decide whether Hadiya’s marriage is invalid or not. “She is a 24 years old girl. If an adult says she is married out of her free consent, how can one contest that marriage?” the court said, reports LiveLaw.
“Once Hadiya says that she is married, we cannot question the legitimacy of her choice. How can the writ of Habeas Corpus be issued in respect of an adult girl?” Justice Chandrachud responded to counsel Madhawi Diwan, appearing on behalf of one of the respondents.
Chief Justice Dipak Mishra also quashed the theory that Hadiya was deemed to be mentally or intellectually insufficient.
He said that she had appeared before them and in the High Court and that she was not in illegal detention. He refused to see how she could have been brainwashed and said that the court could not interfere in her independent choice to get married.
In August last year, the SC had directed the NIA to investigate the case under the court’s supervision. But today, the SC said there was a reason to believe that the investigation was proceeding ‘outside the umbrella of the court’.
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“The heart of the matter is that the marriage cannot be nullified. So no investigation can be carried out into the marital status,” the Chief Justice concluded.
As some desperately try to make the proverbial mountain out of a molehill about Hadiya’s marriage and conversion to Islam, this comes as an important reminder to them that they realise she is an adult.
Hopefully, the SC’s intervention will eventually help Hadiya in getting her freedom – something she has been trying to get back for months now.