The court said that Hadiya had to be returned to Sivaraj Homoeopathic Medical College in Salem at the earliest.

Hadiya says I want freedom SC sends her back to college
news Hadiya Monday, November 27, 2017 - 17:36

Following a vehement statement from 25-year-old Hadiya that she wants her freedom, and that she wants to return to her husband Shafin Jahan, the Supreme Court on Monday directed Hadiya to complete her education. With this order, Hadiya comes out of the custody of her parents, under whom she has been in house arrest since May this year. 

The court has ordered that Hadiya be returned to the Sivaraj Homoeopathic Medical College in Salem, where she will complete the rest of her course. As her course is 11 months long, and she has completed only one month, she must study for 10 more months at the college, it said.

The court added that Hadiya should be taken back to the college at the earliest, possibly by Tuesday.

After the hearing ended, lawyer Indira Jaising, who appeared on behalf of Shafin Jahan, told TNM that only the question of Hadiya's liberty was taken up in court. "While sending her back to college, the court has not prohibited her from meeting anyone, including Shafin. The question of the annulment of Hadiya's marriage to Shafin was not taken up."

The lawyer for Hadiya's father Ashokan claimed that the “order by the High Court has not been stayed at all. So, there is no marriage as of now. She will continue with her studies. We are happy with that. She has the freedom to continue with her studies. I am appearing for her father, we are happy that she has been sent to the hostel for the completion of her studies.”

But PV Dinesh, the lawyer for the state’s women’s commission told TNM that this was an incorrect reading of the situation and the court has not prohibited Hadiya from being with Shafin Jahan.

The SC directed that the Tamil Nadu government should provide the necessary protection, with policewomen stationed at the college. The Dean will be responsible for Hadiya’s welfare, the court said. It also said that she should be treated like any other student, who will be governed by the rules of the hostel.

In the court Hadiya said, "I want to be a good doctor, and a good citizen. But I also want to practice my faith."

When asked if she wanted the state of Kerala to pay for her expenditures, Hadiya replied that she had a husband to take care of her expenses, so she did not need the state.

She also said that she did not want any guardian except her husband. Justice Chandrachud then responded that, "No man is the guardian of his wife. I am not the guardian of my wife."

The SC's order came after the three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, heard Hadiya's testimony for around 40 minutes. While the hearing began a little after 3pm, the SC first heard arguments from the various parties in the case, on whether it should first receive Hadiya's testimony or consider the National Investigation Agency's report and other evidence in the case.

The case will come up for hearing again in the third week of January.

Hadiya, a 25-year-old woman from Kerala has been in the eye of a storm ever since she converted to Islam and left home in January 2016.

Her case has taken many twists and turns, with the Kerala High Court annulling her marriage to Shafin Jahan, her being confined to her parents' home for months on end, and the Supreme Court ordering a National Investigation Agency probe into her case.

While Hadiya has consistently insisted that her conversion and her marriage have both been fully of her own volition, her father Ashokan has claimed that Hadiya has been indoctrinated as part of a plan to lure her and take her away to Syria.

On Monday, Hadiya finally appeared in the Supreme Court to give her side of the story. While Ashokan had pleaded the Supreme Court to hear her testimony in camera, the SC disregarded his request and gave Hadiya an opportunity to be heard in open court. 


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