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Supreme Court allows Hadiya out of father's custody to resume studies in Tamil Nadu
(NEW DELHI, Nov 27, 2017):The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Hadiya alias Akhila, at the centre of an alleged love jihad case, to be freed from her father's custody and resume her studies at a Salem-based homeopathic college after she repeatedly pleaded that she wanted the freedom to make her own choices.

Hadiya, wearing a red abaya (full-length garment worn by some Muslim women), appeared before a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. The court interacted with her for about half an hour during which it asked her about her plans and how she intended to support herself.

As she was not conversant with Hindi and English, the court asked senior advocate V Giri to act as translator. The court put questions to her and she comfortably answered all queries. "She wants freedom," Giri told the bench, when it asked her about her dreams. On her way to Delhi she had told the media, "I want to go with my husband.

Nobody forced me to convert. "Hadiya had been placed in her father's custody by the Kerala high court which also annulled her marriage and called for a probe into whether there is an organised syndicate involved in "love jihad". Her husband Shafin Jahan had on September 20 approached the apex court seeking to challenge the HC order.

Hadiya told the SC that she wants to complete her studies and expressed the apprehension that her parents, in whose custody she has been for the past six months, would not allow her to do so. Asked what she wants to do, Hadiya said she wanted to pursue medicine and live a life true to her faith.

The court then asked who would bear expenses for her study and whether she was agreeable that the state government pay. Hadiya replied that she did not need any help from the government and her husband was able to look after her needs. The court also asked who should be appointed as local guardian but she again responded that her husband be appointed guardian and she did not need anyone.

The case of Hadiya from Kerala is part of a clutch of petitions in the SC where parents have alleged their daughters are victims of "love jihad", an alleged conspiracy by Muslim radical groups to lure non-Muslim women into conversion and marriage as part of a premediated plan.

The NIA in a report to the SC pointed to the possibility of certain radical organisations being part of a "love jihad" operation building on a report of the Kerala police. Besides Hadiya, NIA examined the case of Athira Nambiar, who has returned to her family.

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