The petitioner (father )filed a case on the ground that Hadiya (originally Akhila Ashokan) was deceived into marrying her husband, Mr. Shafin Jahan and forcibly converted to Islam. I.e, He alleged that Hadiya had been misled and forced to become a Muslim.
Question of law:-
- Does the High Court have the power to annul the marriage of an adult under Article 226?
- Does marriage being the most crucial decision of life, can be taken only with the active involvement of her parents, and no legal adult consent is necessary?
- The writ of habeas corpus is ‘a great constitutional privilege’ or ‘the first security of civil liberty.’ It is a remedy against illegal detention, which affects the liberty and freedom of the detainee. In this case, the High Court misused the habeas corpus. When Hadiya appeared before the High Court, she stated that she was not under illegal confinement. The High Court has no power to decide the ‘just’ way of life or ‘correct’ course of living for Hadiya.
- Parens patriae is the power of the State to intervene against an abusive or negligent parent or guardian. The State acts as the parent of such an individual. The courts can invoke this role only in exceptional cases where the individual is either mentally incompetent, underage, or has either no parent/legal guardian or abusive one.
- The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21. The High Court was wrong in using its powers under Article 226 to annul Hadiya’s marriage with Shafin Jahan.