The high court said it was appalled at the growing trend in the state wherein cases of inter-faith marriages are being portrayed as either ‘love jihad’ or ‘ghar wapsi’.
Kochi: The Kerala high court held that all inter-religious weddings cannot be viewed as ‘love
jihad’ as it upheld a marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man.
A division bench comprising justices V Chitambaresh and Sathish Ninan made the observations in its
judgement on a habeas corpus petition filed by the man. A habeas corpus plea is filed to ensure a
person under arrest is brought before a court which will determine whether the detention is legal.
“We are appalled to notice the recent trend in this state to sensationalise every case of inter-
religious marriage as either ‘love jihad’ or ‘ghar wapsi’ even if there was platonic love between the
spouses before,” the court said.
The bench also cited the Supreme Court order in the Lata Singh versus state of Uttar Pradesh case of
2004 to emphasise the need for encouraging inter-caste and inter-religious marriages.
“We caution that every case of inter-religious marriage shall not be portrayed on a religious canvass
and create fissures in the communal harmony otherwise existing in the God’s Own Country – Kerala,” the
bench said and upheld the marriage.
It said the present case was projected by the parents of the woman as ‘love jihad’ whereas the man, who
was in love with her and married her later, termed it as ‘ghar wapsi’ (a bid to coerce her to come
The woman from Kannur had left her home on May 16 along with the Muslim youth. On a complaint from her
parents, police had traced and detained them in Sonepat in Haryana a month later.
Initially, a lower court had allowed the woman to go with her parents, who then lodged her in a yoga
centre at Tripunithura in Ernakulam district allegedly to make her give up the relationship with the
When the woman was produced before the high court on August 18, she had interacted with a single judge
and expressed her desire to go back with parents.
Subsequently, when the petition came up for hearing four days later, the woman retracted her stand and
told the division bench that she made the statement expressing her wish to go with her parents under
She alleged that she was tortured at the yoga centre. It was being run “to coerce the inmates to return
to Hindu religion”, she had charged.
During the litigation and counter-litigation by both sides, the woman and man had got married legally.
The division bench applauded the “extra-ordinary courage” shown by the girl to live up to her
conviction and “decry the attempt of her parents to deflect the course of justice by misleading
It observed their marriage had now been registered too.
The court also observed that any centre for forcible conversion or re-conversion had to be busted by
the police whether it was Hindu, Muslim or Christian lest it offends the Constitutional right.
Article 25 (1) of the Constitution guaranteed every citizen the right to freely profess, practice and
propagate any religion which cannot be trampled upon by subversive forces or religious outfits, the
The judgement began with a quote from American poet Maya Angelou who famously said: “Love recognises no
barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
It may recalled that another division bench of the Kerala high court had in May annulled the marriage
of a 24-year-old woman with a Muslim man after allegedly forced to convert to Islam, terming it as an
instance of ‘love jihad’.
On an appeal by the husband, the Supreme Court had on August 16 ordered a probe by the National
Investigation Agency into the case as the agency claimed it was not an isolated incident but a
“pattern” that was emerging in Kerala.