Speaking exclusively to TNM, Ashokan's lawyer Raghunath claimed that Hadiya was ‘heavily indoctrinated’ and that she was ‘mentally unstable.’

Hadiya mentally unstable NIA report more important Fathers SC strategy
news Hadiya Sunday, November 26, 2017 - 14:09

The heavily guarded and barricaded gate of Kerala House in New Delhi is proof of the palpable tension inside the building.

It is in this building that Hadiya, the 25-year-old Muslim convert from Kerala is being housed for a day, before she goes before the Supreme Court on Monday to give her testimony.

Even as the SC is set to hear Hadiya in an open court, there seems to be little surprise as to what Hadiya will say in court: On Saturday, as she was being taken to Delhi, the young woman who has been kept in confinement by her father screamed for the world to hear that she wasn’t forcibly converted, and that she was not forced to marry Shafin Jahan.

For her father, who has been making every attempt to thwart Hadiya’s freedom to choose how she lives her life, this seems to have done little to change his mind. On Sunday, Ashokan has come up with his latest strategy: He is going to argue in court that the SC must consider the NIA report in the case before they hear Hadiya.

Speaking exclusively to TNM, Ashokan's lawyer Raghunath claimed that Hadiya was heavily indoctrinated and that she was mentally unstable.

"We will argue that the NIA report that has enough proof of indoctrination, should be first considered before listening to Hadiya's side. Whatever it is that she will say in court, we will tell the court that more weightage must be placed on the NIA report and not on Hadiya's statements. Just like the Kerala HC did not give much importance to Hadiya's statement, we will ask the SC to do the same.”

Earlier, Ashokan had attempted to get an in-camera hearing in the case, claiming that an open court hearing will put mental pressure on Hadiya. His petition was dismissed.

The case of the 25-year-old convert has generated severe outrage across the country. Born Hindu, Hadiya alias Akhila converted to Islam in January 2016, however she has been practicing the religion for three years before that. While her father has been fighting in court that she was forcefully converted and that there are attempts to radicalise her and take her to Syria, Hadiya has maintained that she converted of her own free will.

Her wedding to a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, created further complications in the case. While Hadiya said she married him willingly – and that the wedding was arranged by her Muslim guardian Sainaba – her father has portrayed the wedding as sinister, claiming Shafin has links to the radical group PFI.

The Kerala High Court earlier this year annulled Hadiya and Shafin’s wedding, and gave Ashokan the custody of his daughter. When Shafin approached the Supreme Court, the apex court sided with the Kerala HC, and further ordered and NIA probe in the case.

Shafin went to the Supreme Court again, against the NIA probe in the case.

At this point, a different bench with CJI Dipak Misra in it, questioned the earlier order of the court setting up an NIA probe. The court then ordered that Hadiya herself should give testimony on November 27.

Meanwhile, the NIA took Hadiya’s statement and that of her family and her neighbours earlier this month.

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