Father of Akhila/Hadiya moves SC for in-camera hearing when his daughter shows up in the Court [Read Application]
A fresh petition has been filed on Tuesday, days before Hadiya is to appear in court and speak her side of the matter for the first time since the case was taken up by the Supreme Court, by her father Ashokan, seeking in-camera proceedings of the case when she shows up in the Court on 27th November 2017.
The Supreme Court Bench headed by CJI, Justice Dipak Misra, while hearing the appeal against the Kerala High Court judgment annulling Hadiya’s marriage to a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, had on October 30th, asked her father Ashokan to produce her in the court.
In the new petition, apart from requesting an in-camera interaction, Ashokan has also requested the presence of A. S. Sainaba and the Office Bearer of Markazul Hidaya Sathyasarani Educational and Charitable Trust, in court. He has also sought permission to submit additional documents in court.
He has told the Supreme Court that the privacy and safety of his family, including his daughter, should be a concern for the judges. His petition for an in camera or closed-door hearing cited the landmark August verdict of K. S. Puttaswamy Vs Union of India in which the Supreme Court had ruled that privacy is a fundamental right.
He has further argued that in camera proceedings have been fashioned out of necessity to suit the contemporary times where in dissemination of court proceedings by the media are the norm and in fact may affect fair trial. In holding so he has cited the case of Vineet Narain v. Union of India in which the then Solicitor General had requested that a part of the proceedings be held ‘in camera’ to enable him to state certain facts, secrecy of which was required to be maintained for the integrity of the investigation.
Ashokan has also submitted, “A family’s anguish and misery caused by the acts of an extremist organization should not be reduced to a public spectacle or a reality show. The object of production of Akhila in the court is to enable this Hon’ble Court to arrive at the truth and ascertain the role of Popular Front of India/other extremist elements and whether there is a network in place or systematic conversion and radicalization activities.”
Another petition was filed last week, which is still being heard, where Shafin Jahan, the husband, had moved a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against National Investigation Agency for proceeding with the investigation in the case without the supervision of a retired Supreme Court Judge. The Supreme Court had ordered NIA investigation, in August, in the case under the supervision of former Supreme Court Judge, Justice R. V. Raveendran. But later Justice Raveendran had declined the assignment citing personal reasons.
Read the application below:
Cover image from here.