Jodhpur: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday allowed a 22-year-old woman to live with her Muslim husband, saying she is a major and free to marry a man of her choice.
A division bench, headed by Justice GK Vyas, also directed the police to ensure safety of Aarifa, earlier know as Payal Singhvi, reported The Hindu.
The court also allowed woman to leave her home, where she was sent last week.
The woman’s brother had filed a habeas corpus petition, alleging that their marriage was a case of “love jihad”, and that she had been forcibly converted to Islam.
A division bench, headed by Justice GK Vyas, said the woman was not a minor and was free to marry a man of her choice. The woman told the court she had willingly married the man.
On November 1, the High Court had criticised the state police for the way it handled the case. It had asked how the police could assume that the conversion was illegal “just by way of an affidavit over a stamp paper of Rs 10”, especially when there was no legal provision in this regard.
The woman’s brother had claimed that a person named Faiz Modi had been harassing her for a long time and had abducted her. He claimed she was made to sign some papers, after which fake marriage documents were prepared, and that she was blackmailed with objectionable pictures.
The court had asked the police to investigate the authenticity of the alleged religious conversion and the marriage and also find out why she was living with her family till October if she had married and converted to Islam in April.
The case coincides with the controversy over Hadiya, a 24-year-old Kerala woman born Akhila Ashokan, who had converted to Islam and married a Muslim. Her marriage has been challenged in court by her father, who alleged that it was a form of recruitment by ISIS in Kerala. The high court had annulled the marriage in May this year and sent her to her father’s custody.
Her husband had moved the Supreme Court, which in August ordered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the alleged forced conversion of Akhila.
However, last month a new apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed if the case warranted an NIA probe and also raised questions about on the high court order.