The Indian Supreme Court yesterday said that Hadiya's marriage with her husband Shafin Jahan is legal and valid, and a relationship she has formed of her free will and consent.
In doing so, the apex court overturned an earlier order of Kerala HC, which had cancelled the marriage saying it wasn't legal as she entered into it out of coercion or was brainwashed into it.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it was restoring Hadiya and Jahan's marriage, as it had interacted with the former and found that she had exercised her consent in getting married.
With yesterday's order, the two will be deemed legally married and can live as a couple without being harassed by any state agency.
The SC, however, said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the alleged 'love jihad' phenomenon would be taken to its logical conclusion by the agency in accordance with the law.
In its status report submitted to the SC, the NIA had said that a well-oiled system prevailed in Kerala to indoctrinate people to embrace Islam.
Earlier this week, Hadiya's father KM Asokan told the top court that his efforts prevented her from being transported to "extremist-controlled territories" of Syria to be used as a "sex slave or a human bomb".
Hadiya, however, told the court that she embraced Islam of her own free will and wanted to continue living as a Muslim. In an affidavit filed before the top court, she said that she had married Jahan of her own volition and sought the court's permission to "live as his wife".