Kodenchery interfaith marriage: HC dismisses habeas corpus, allows Joysna to go with Shejin

Shejin and Joysna

Kochi: In a major development in the row over Kodenchery interfaith marriage, the Kerala High Court here on Tuesday allowed Joysna, a woman from Christian community to go with her husband Shejin, who is a Muslim and DYFI leader.

The order by a division bench comprising Justice VG Arun and C S Sudha came on a habeas corpus plea filed by the woman’s father Joseph. In the petition, Joysna's father alleged that his daughter had been illegally detained and requested the court to direct the police to produce her before him. Joseph also alleged that his daughter has been brainwashed to marry a man who belongs to another religion.

The court declined to interfere with the woman's decision after she told the court that she has not been illegally detained. Joysna also informed the court that she is not interested to speak to her parents. After talking with Joysna, the division bench informed that she has decided to marry Shejin out of her own free will and not under any compulsion.

"She has also stated that as of now she is not interested to communicate with her parents or family members and will do so at a later stage," the court noted in its order.

It also told the woman's family that she has said she intended to visit them after her marriage, for which an application under the Special Marriage Act has been moved and is pending consideration, and not before that.

The bench told the family that while it understands their concerns, their daughter is a 26-year-old woman, who was a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and capable of making her own decisions.

"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," it said.

The woman's father, Joseph, had moved a habeas corpus plea alleging that his daughter had been illegally detained and seeking to order the police to produce her before him.

He had also told news channels that since the day his daughter left his home, she has not spoken to any of them and therefore, he believed that she was being restrained against her will by the DYFI leader.

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 a senior Left party leader supporting the charge, only to retract his statement later.

The CPM, 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.

'Love jihad' is a term used by right-wing outfits to claim that Muslim men lure women from other faiths to convert them into Islam.The couple also denied the allegations of her family.

(With inputs from agencies)

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