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The National Investigation Agency asked Hadiya, the 26-year-old Kerala homeopathy student who converted to Islam and married a Muslim man, if she "gave sweets to friends when she was in Salem".

The matter had come to fore when Jahan had challenged the Kerala High Court's order annulling his marriage with Hadiya and sending her to her parents' custody.

The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, "Whether this marriage is a disguise (to commit crime) is a separate issue".

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The high court's order had put the spotlight on "love jihad", a controversial term coined by fringe outfits to describe cases of what they believe are forced marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women.

Following the high court's order, Hadiya' husband moved to the Supreme Court challenging the ruling. The NIA is looking into the "love jihad" angle of the case even though Hadiya has vehemently denied the charges. He has said he is "pained" that his daughter will go away to live with a terrorist, and "will consider filing a review petition".

The Supreme Court overturned the order of a lower court and reinstated the marriage of the 24-year-old woman, who had converted to Islam and changed her name to Hadiya, from Akhila earlier.

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During the course of the hearing in Supreme Court, Hadiya had maintained that she voluntarily wanted to be with Shafin Jahan.

The apex court, however, directed the National Investigation Agency to continue their probe into the alleged case of "love jihad" without "interfering into Hadiya's marriage". Last month the bench had said that the NIA couldn't probe the marital status of Hadiya. At that time, the apex court had not yet made a statement about the status of her marriage.

The anti-terror Investigation agency had told the court that the alleged conversion and marriage of Hadiya to a Muslim man was not an isolated incident and there was a pattern emerging in the state. The court said when it interacted with Hadiya it found that she had exercised her free consent in getting married. It is to be hoped that the SC striking down the Kerala HC judgment will lead to court verdicts upholding justice alone in the face of societal biases and political pressures, in the future.

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