New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe Kerala’s ‘love jihad’ case pertaining to a Hindu woman converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim man. The apex court also ordered that the NIA probe will be supervised by former SC judge Justice RV Raveendran.
The NIA told the SC bench that it has a prima facie view that Akhila Ashokan’s conversion to Islam and marriage to a Muslim man was not an isolated incident. NIA counsel ASG Maninder Singh told the SC that in other cases same players were involved in converting young Hindu girls, who had difference with their parents, to Islam.
The Kerala government said that if the apex court wants an NIA probe, it has no objections. The SC said that after getting inputs from the NIA and Kerala police probe, it would interview Akhila to ascertain her views.
Earlier, the SC wanted to nominate former SC judge K S Radhakrishnan as the supervisor of the NIA probe. However, Shafin Jahan, to whom Akhila married after conversion before the Kerala HC annulled their marriage, objected to Justice Radhakrishnan being made supervisor of the NIA probe. Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising, arguing on behalf of Shafin, said it was an inter-faith controversy and that the SC should be careful in choosing the retired judge. Sibal and Jaising said that instead of Radhakrishnan, any retired non-Keralite SC judge would be fine. The apex court then named Justice Raveendran as supervisor of the NIA probe.
Shafin, who had married a Akhila in December last, had moved the apex court after the Kerala high court annulled the marriage.