There is no need for NIA investigation in Hadiya case: Kerala 

Kerala Police investigation has not revealed any scheduled offences

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Ashlin Mathew

The Kerala government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Friday in the Hadiya case stating that the Kerala Police had done their job and no anomalies were found. They have rejected the claim that Hadiya’s conversion from Hinduism to Islam was a part of “pattern” in the state.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the Kerala government said the crime branch had investigated the case and had found no anomalies, which called for an NIA probe. "The investigation conducted by the Kerala Police has not revealed any incident relating to the commission of any scheduled offences to make a report to the Central Government under Section 6 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008,” stated the affidavit filed by Subrata Biswas, the State's Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department.

In the affidavit, the government states that the Kerala Police had conducted detailed investigations into the conversion, the family background of Shafin Jahan and the incidents related to the marriage between Hadiya alias Akhila and Shafin Jahan.

“The Kerala Police is competent to conduct the investigation in such crimes and would have reported to the Central Government if any scheduled offences were found to have been committed during the investigation as per the NIA Act. However, in view of the order, the report of this case has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency,” states the affidavit.

In May this year, the Kerala High Court annulled the marriage of Akhila Ashokan alias Hadiya (24) on the ground that she may have been brainwashed to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man. The ruling was given by Justices Surendra Mohan and Justice Abraham Mathew.

The case was then filed in the Supreme Court, which under Justice JS Khehar refused to stay the annulment of the marriage; instead it asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to find out if the young woman had actually been indoctrinated and if she planned to join the Islamic State. The Supreme Court ordered the NIA to investigate the case under the guidance of retired Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran, who excused himself from the case. There was no time-frame given for the investigation, nor an alternate judge’s name suggested either.

However, the Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had questioned the August 16 order for the NIA probe. Chief Justice Misra also stated that the Kerala High Court had no authority to annul the inter-religious marriage between Shafin Jahan and Hadiya.

In her affidavit Hadiya, the name she assumed after conversion, stated that she had left home on her own and she had been practising Islam for the past three years, long before she married Jahan in December 2016.

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