SC hears case of HC’s invalidation of Muslim convert girl’s marriage

coastaldigest.com news network
August 4, 2017

New Delhi, Aug 4: Even as 24-year-old Hadiya, who was forced to end relationship with her husband and stay in her ‘Hindu’ father’s home by Kerala High Court has been reeling under depression, the Supreme Court has been presented with two conflicting versions about her decision to embrace Islam. 

Her husband, Shafeen Jahan, portrayed Hadiya as an independent and devout woman who converted to Islam on her own volition and much before their wedding. Jahan has approached the Supreme Court with a request to order the girl’s father to produce her in court.

On the other hand, backed by Sangh Parivar, her father Ashokan Mani, from Vaikom of Kottayam district, continued to portray her as a victim “trapped by a “well-oiled” racket that uses “psychological measures” to indoctrinate people and convert them to Islam. He also alleged that Jahan is a criminal and his daughter was trapped by a network with connections to Popular Front of India and even the Islamic State, a terror outfit. In fact the Kerala police also have confirmed that Jahan has no criminal record. 

“My daughter once told me that she wants to do sheep-farming in Syria... even the most liberal of fathers would be shocked to hear this,” he told a Bench of Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and D.Y. Chandrachud on Friday. However, the Jahan has accused his Hindu father-in-law of telling lies about latter’s daughter.

Depression

It could be recalled here that in a controversial ruling, the Division Bench of Kerala High Court in May this year, had invalidated the marriage of Hadiya and Jahan based on the unproven allegations of her father.

It is learnt that Hadiya is under depression after she was forced to stay in her parental house. According to sources, she spends time by reading Quran and doesn’t interact with her father properly.

Conversion

Ashokan Mani, an ex-serviceman filed Habeas Corpus petition before the Kerala High Court on January 25, 2016 when he found that his daughter Akhila (now Hadiya) was missing from the campus she studied. Akhila was a student of the Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery course in Salem.

In his petition, Ashokan alleged that his daughter was forcibly converted to Islam and sought the help of the court to find her. Ashokan named two of Akhila's classmates Jaseena Aboobaker and her sister Faseena - residents of Perinthalmanna - as the persons behind her disappearance from the campus under mysterious circumstances.

Ashokan said in his petition that Akhila and eight other friends including Jaseena and Faseena were staying in a rented house near their college in Salem. They used to visit her friends' home in Perinthalmanna during holidays.

Daughter was afraid of Hindu father 

Ashokan mentioned in his petition that he noticed some behavioural changes in her daughter when came home to attend her grandfather's funeral in December 2015. Ashokan said that Akhila was not ready to perform Hindu rituals.

On January 6, 2017 Ashokan received a phone call from the father of one of Akhila's classmate informing him that his daughter was seen wearing veil and that she was converted to Islam.

The news was a shock to Ashokan. Family members passed information to Akhila that her father suffered a mild heart attack because of her. However, she was not ready to visit father as she was afraid that he may not allow her to follow Islam.

Father’s allegation and daughter’s clarification

Ashokan later told police that Akhila had informed him that she was being forcibly held by people including Jaseena and Aboobacker.  Ashokan claimed in his petition that those people were engaged in forcible conversion of vulnerable youths of other faiths.

On the complaint by Ashokan, police began probe. Hadiya was found but she submitted an affidavit before Perinthalmanna police that she was following Islam since 2012 and had willingly left her home. She rubbished the allegation made by her father and family members.

Hadiya told the police officials that she joined a course run by Tharbiathul Islam Sabha, Kottackal in Malappuram to learn Islam and shifted her residence to Satyasarani in Manjery - an Islamic Institution.

According to her affidavit, Hadiya stayed in Aboobacker's home for a brief period. Hadiya later shifted to Satyasarani's hostel for girls and completed her course. Satyasarani introduced her to Sainaba from Ernakulam and started staying with her after her father filed Habeas Corpus petition.

First order of high court

Hadiya told the court that she was not under any illegal confinement against her free will. She also told the court that she was not willing to go to her father's house. She insisted that she wanted to pursue her Islamic studies at Satyasarani.

In June last year, the Kerala High Court allowed Hadiya to stay with Sainaba. 

Later Hadiya informed the court that she had taken admission in Satyasarani and produced records of her admission in the religious institution.

Consequently, Kerala High Court dismissed the Habeas Corpus petition filed by Ashokan Mani.

Father introduces ‘terror’ angle

The June 2016 order of the Kerala High Court should have been the end of the matter. But, ex-soldier Ashokan Mani decided to file habeas corpus petition. Ironically, this time he raised terror angle!

Ashokan alleged that her daughter was converted to Islam at the behest of the ISIS. He feared that Hadiya might be taken out of India to join the ranks of Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Ashokan mentioned about two separate cases of women vanishing from Kerala allegedly to join the ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan after they were converted to Islam and married to Muslim men.

Twists and Turns

The Kerala High Court, at first, was not impressed with the reference to the ISIS. The court asked Ashokan's lawyer CK Mohanan to delete the reference to the ISIS in his petition as it was irrelevant.

But, Mohanan was insistent and argued that Kerala police were investigating a case of missing 21 persons from the state. They are suspected to have been taken to Afghanistan. A heated exchange took place in the open court between the lawyers and the bench.

Justices PN Ravindran and Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu slapped ordered contempt proceedings against lawyer Mohanan in 2016. The court pronounced him guilty in the case and sentenced him to three months imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000.

Ashokan assured the court that he would not engage Mohanan in future. The high court shifted Hadiya from the custody of Sainaba to SNV Sadanam, Ernakulam - a ladies' hostel.

Meanwhile, Hadiya got married to Shafeen Jahan of Kollam in December last year. The matter came up in January this year before the Kerala High Court, which was hearing the second Habeas Corpus writ filed by Ahokan.

Hadiya produced marriage certificate issued by Puthur Juma Masjid in Malappuram and marriage registration certificate by local panchayat authorities. But, the Kerala High Court has declared both the marriage and the certificates as invalid.

Why HC nullified wedding?

The court in its judgment said that the marriage was done by strangers and her parents did not participate in the function.

"Marriage being the most important decision in her (Hadiya’s) life can only be taken with the active involvement of her parents," the Kerala High Court observed.

"The marriage, which is alleged to have taken place, is a sham and is of no consequence in the eye of law. Her husband has no authority to act as the guardian,'' the court further remarked.

The Kerala High Court also directed the State Police Chief to conduct departmental inquiry against Perinthalmanna Deputy Superintendent of Police for not investigating the case properly and take appropriate action.

The court verdict said that investigation should also be carried out about the activities of Sathyasarani, a renowned Islamic educational institution at Manjeri regarding conversion of religion.

The court also had ordered an investigation into whether there was any breach on the part of the officer who had investigated the case earlier. It is to be noted that the investigating officer appointed by the same court had categorically said that the complainant’s claims were baseless.

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News Network
September 25,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 25: Karnataka government gave its firm assurance to all 32 Kannadigas who are repatriated from Saudi Arabia.

This was announced here by the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr C. N. Ashwathnarayana on Thursday. "All 32 Kannadigas reached Bengaluru on Thursday evening and the state has made them stay in Bengaluru University hostel premises," he said.

He further added that all of them have undergone mandatory Covid-19 tests and till the results come, they will be kept in a hostel.

The minister said that most of them lost their jobs due to the pandemic and they are direly in need of jobs, hence the state government had taken responsibility for accommodating them.

According to him, Karnataka took every possible initiative to bring back these 32 persons who were languishing in Saudi Arabia prisons after they had violated their Employment visa rules.

"Most of them had over stayed in that country. We got in touch with External Affairs ministry and in turn they got in touch with Embassy in Saudi Arabia, who helped us out to bring all of them to India," he explained.

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News Network
September 21,2020

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Udupi, Sep 21: Residents of a prominent apartment complex in Manipal today woke up to witness a landslip adjacent to their building.

‘Premier Enclave’, which was inaugurated around five years ago is now facing threat due to landslip amid torrential rains.

Deputy Commissioner G Jagadeesh has instructed the residents to vacate the building as soon as possible. Developed by Premier Builders, the 8+2 storey residential apartment has around 35 flats.

Udupi City Municipal Council commissioner Anand K Kallolikar and engineer Mohanraj visited and examined the spot.

According to Mohanraj the apartment was constructed on pile foundation and if a crack appears on the wall before 24 hours, it is could pose a serious risk.

As part of precautionary measures, the 2 km road stretch from Indrali junction to Manipal, has been turned into one-way.

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Agencies
September 15,2020

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Washington, Sept 15: Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has said India's willingness to play a "big role" in manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine and allow it to supply to other developing countries will be a critical part in containing the coronavirus pandemic globally.

In an exclusive interview to PTI, Gates, whose foundation is focusing on fighting the pandemic, called it the "next biggest thing" the world has been confronted with after the World War.

The Microsoft co-founder said the world is looking to India for large scale production of Covid-19 vaccine once it is rolled out.

"Obviously, all of us want to get a vaccine out in India as fast as we can, once we know that it's very effective and very safe, and so the plans are coming into focus that sometime next year, it's very likely that roll-out will take place and take place in fairly big volume," he said.

"The world is also looking to India for some of that capacity to be available to other developing countries. Exactly what that allocation formula looks like will have to be figured out," Gates added.

Scientists and pharmaceutical companies globally are racing against time to find a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic which has killed about 9,32,000 people and infected around 24 million. Some of the vaccine candidates have entered the third and final phase of testing.

"This is not like a world war, but it's the next biggest thing after that that we've ever had," he said.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's largest charities, has been involved in global efforts to contain the pandemic. In India, the foundation has entered into a partnership with the Serum Institute to accelerate the manufacturing and delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.

"India's willingness to play a big role in the manufacturing and to allow some of those vaccines to go to other developing countries will be an absolutely critical part of that," said Gates.

"India will be helping to make sure we have equity. We have a model that shows that getting the vaccine out to those who need it the most will save half the lives that you'd lose if you only send it out to the rich countries," he said.

In the telephonic interview, the Microsoft co-founder who has donated billions of dollars to fight poverty and diseases, talked extensively about India's strength in production of vaccines and referred to companies like Serum Institute, Bio E and Bharat Biotech.

"We've been brokering the idea of taking a vaccine and manufacturing it in India, even if it comes from AstraZeneca, Oxford or Novavax or Johnson & Johnson. We've publicly talked about the arrangement where a Serum will be able to make very high volume of the AstraZeneca and the Novavax vaccine," said Gates.

"There's discussions with Bio E, their connection with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and whether they'll be able to ramp that up," he said.

Gates also said that the foundation has been having "great discussions" with India's NITI-Aayog, adding the ICMR is looking at the regulatory aspects of the Covid-19 vaccines.

"I'm actually very impressed with how our discussions with the government on these issues and the companies, including the Western companies collaborating with these new companies, that's all gone very well," Gates said.

The American business magnate said he was optimistic that by the first quarter of next year, that several of these vaccines will reach the phase three emergency licence approval.

"We still could be disappointed in that. But we have a variety of constructs and the early data from the phase one and phase two, for example the antibody levels, looks pretty promising for quite a few of these vaccines," he said.

He said the focus should be to keep the cost of the vaccines low and it should be ensured that they can be made in very high volume.

"We have to remember that even once a vaccine is approved, the bar for that vaccine in terms of the effectiveness was set as 50 per cent, and so we still may want to continue with other vaccines to get higher effectiveness," he said.

Gates also complimented India's digital cash transfer scheme.

"Getting payments out through digital cash transfers, that has been a fantastic thing, and obviously, India has done that at a scale that no other country ever has," he said.

"The whole Aadhaar digital financial system in India has proven to be once again a huge asset," he said, adding it can be extended to all the countries of the world.

The philanthropist also referred to the foundation's annual Goalkeepers report saying it normally takes stock of the ongoing progress on things like economic growth, literacy, child survival and average lifespan.

"This year's report, unfortunately, we're unable to say that there's been progress. In fact, we talk about the setback, and one way we dimensionalise that for like vaccine coverage globally, which went from 84 per cent to 70 per cent, is we say that's a 25-year setback," he said.

Asked whether India's economic downturn will impact implementation of social welfare schemes, Gates said the foundation is a huge believer that investments in health pay off very strongly.

"It's tragic that all health activities have been so disrupted, and that will lead to increased deaths from other diseases, not just COVID," he said.

"In fact, in many places, and I'm not sure if India will be included in this, but there's a chance that there would be more deaths from other diseases because of the health disruption than from COVID itself," he said.

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