Kerala HC refuses to interfere in interfaith marriage, says ‘woman capable of making own decisions’

[Photo: Twitter/thenewsminute]

New Delhi: The Kerala high court has allowed a couple whose relationship had been subjected to “love jihad” claims to stay together, observing that the woman, a 26-year-old, is capable of making her own decisions, The Wire reported.

The court has dismissed a petition filed by Joisna Mary Joseph’s father against her marriage with a Muslim man, Democratic Youth Federation of India leader, Shejin. Shejin and Joisna exchanged garlands and filed for marriage registration on April 12, The News Minute has reported. Her father had told the court that Joisna had been abducted. The Josephs are Christians.

Joseph had also told news channels that since the day his daughter left home, she has not spoken to any family members and therefore, he believed that she was being restrained against her will by Shejin.

Joseph had also said that he lacked faith in the Kerala Police to look into the matter and wanted an agency from outside the state, like the CBI or NIA, to investigate what had happened.

The interfaith relationship stirred up a political storm after the woman’s relatives alleged “love jihad”, with the Left’s Kozhikode district secretariat member George M. Thomas supporting the charge, only to retract his statement later.

The CPI(M), thereafter, made it clear that there was nothing unnatural in interfaith marriages and the campaign of ‘love jihad’ was a creation of RSS and Sangh Parivar.

Joisna, summoned by a division bench of Justices V.G. Arun and C.S. Sudha, had told the court that she had gotten married of “her own free will” and that there was no pressure on her.

“Let the couple who got married under the Special Marriage Act decide on what they should do next. Joisna is a woman capable of making her own decisions. She is 26 years old and has worked abroad. If two people decide to get married, the court cannot interfere in it,” the court said, according to The News Minute.

Joisna also categorically told the court that she had not been illegally detained.

“She has also stated that as of now she was not interested in interacting with her parents or family and will do so at a later stage,” the court said.

It also told Joisna’s family that she has said that she intends to visit her family after her marriage, for which an application under the Special Marriage Act has been moved and is pending consideration, and not before that. Joisna works as a nurse in Saudi Arabia.

“She has taken a decision and she is not deviating from it. It is her will and pleasure. She is not willing to speak to her parents now, so how can we compel her to do so,” the court told her family, the report added.


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