Woman in ‘love jihad’ case

NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court has ordered a 24-year-old woman whose marriage to a Muslim man was annulled at her Hindu father’s request to give evidence in person, saying only she could decide her own fate. The decision to annul the marriage and force the woman, Akhila Ashokan, to return to live with her parents has caused outrage among women’s rights campaigners in India. Earlier this year Ashokan’s father asked the high court in the southern state of Kerala to annul the marriage, claiming she had been forced into it and made to convert to Islam. The high court agreed, but her former husband challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, which on Monday ruled that Ashokan should appear in person to give evidence on November 27. It questioned whether the lower court had the legal right to annul a marriage between two adults. Inter-religious relationships are still a taboo in India, particularly in rural areas.

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