The hearing in the Hadiya case before the Supreme Court today witnessed some high voltage arguments, as Senior AdvocateDushyant Dave alleged that the Central government was trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Kerala.
Dave’s statement led to a war of words with Additional Solicitor GeneralManinder Singh, prompting the Court to adjourn the matter for October 30.
“There is great sensitivity in the matter. President Ram Nath Kovind had spoken about the atmosphere prevalent in Kerala and the mutual respect between religions. There is an effort to undermine that mutual respect. I am concerned with the safety of my wife. There is an attempt to broaden this matter.”
He also referred to the two Habeas Corpus petitions, one of which was disposed of by the Kerala High Court.
“In the second petition, High Court took an adverse view only because she married me. Can a court do that? She has married out of free will.”
ASG Maninder Singh then rose to make his submissions. He spoke about how the High Court had relied on five other decisions before arrving at its conclusion.
At this point, CJI Dipak Misra asked,
“When a person has consented for marriage, can High Court annul it, unless the person is not in a position to consent?”
Maninder Singh then responded,
“Yes your lordships. And the people behind this have indoctrinated the girl”, hinting that the consent is vitiated by the same.
Dave took strong objection to it and raised his voice.
They are playing into the hands of the government. Your Amit Shah went to Kerala…(unclear). Why should NIA justify Kerala High Court’s judgment?”, thundered Dave.
Singh did not hold back in his response.
“I am disturbed that you are trying to browbeat the other side by such obnoxious statements. They have been using intimidation (tactics) continuously.”
“At least we only do it in court. Not outside court like your government” retorted Dave.
The Bench took exception to the arguments by Dave. CJI Dipak Misra told Dave that such submissions are unwelcome.
“Your tone and manner of submissions are…(unclear). You have actually bulldozed your case”, said Misra J.
Dave, however, refused to back down.
“I take strong exception to that. If Your Lordships don’t want to hear me, please don’t. But don’t put it (the blame) in my mouth”, he said.
The Bench also repeatedly observed that a woman has the right to take decisions for herself and that the father cannot interfere in the same.
“Basic principle is when a person who is mentally sound takes a decision, then it has to be respected. The father cannot say ‘I must have her in my custody because she is my daughter.’
But we don’t want to hear submissions unrelated to the case. Please restrict your arguments to the lis in question”, remarked Misra J.
The Court then proceeded to adjourn the case for October 30. It also refused the appellant’s plea to stay the judgment of the High Court
Later, in a fresh twist in Kerala’s so-called Love Jihad controversy, the girl, who converted to Islam, had said that she wanted to die as a Muslim.
In the video posted by activist Rahul Easwar, the girl, Akhila Hadiya, had expressed her frustration over being kept in solitary confinement adding that ‘Is keeping me like this enough? Is this all my life going to be?’
Easwar had visited the family to speak to them, where he recorded the conversation of Hadiya and her mother, Ponamma. NDTV quoted him as saying that Hadiya wanted to die as a Muslim.