A bench of division of the High Court of Kerala comprising Judge K Vinod Chandran and Judge Ziyad Rahman AA Wednesday, dismissed a plea by a man who claimed his wife and son were forcibly converted to Islam and illegally detained after finding the woman had converted of her own accord.
Petitioner Gilbert PT, a former CPI (M) employee, filed a habeas corpus petition on June 29, 2021 to demand the release of his wife and son illegally detained at Therbiyathul Islam Sabha, a religious institution in Kozhikode. It was also requested that their custody be granted to the applicant. Lawyer Sajith Kumar represented the applicant in the case.
The applicant applied to the court concerned with the welfare of his âsecond wife and sonâ, who were allegedly forcibly taken away by the defendants for forced conversion. It was also alleged that, through his wife, the Applicant was offered 25,000,000 rupees for converting to Islam.
Both mother and son were produced in court. The police inspector, during the production of the duet, informed the court that the mother was the sister of the applicant’s first wife. According to the officer, they lived together but soon encountered altercations.
As a result, the mother left the house with her son. They have been living apart for some time and she currently works in a bakery. It was also brought to the attention of the Court that the woman was not legally married to the applicant.
The owner of the bakery was a Muslim, the officer reported, and the mother was impressed with the religion. Soon after, she converted to Islam and is currently undergoing training.
Judge K Vinod Chandran and JUstice Ziyad Rahman AA conversed with the woman in the absence of the authorities. During this discussion, she admitted that she had converted to Islam on her own accord and that there had been no coercion from anyone.
“She also admitted the relationship with the petitioner but alleged that the petitioner has not looked after herself and the child for some time. She also admits that there is no marriage valid between her and the petitioner. She works in a bakery and has now converted to Islam. She claimed that her son was not converted, “observed the judiciary.
When the court interacted with the child, he related the same thing and expressed his desire to stay with his mother. The child also confirmed that he had not yet converted and had not yet decided if he wanted to.
Since the mother and son did not change their position after meeting the applicant, the Court found that there was no reason to keep the application pending.
When asked if she had any apprehensions to share with the court, the mother replied that her son’s studies were interrupted due to frequent interference from strangers and even the media.
The Court observed that during the issuance of the opinion by the court, there were several columns in the media with insinuations that the mother and child are in the custody of extremist organizations.
Commenting on this, the Court states the following:
“We are saddened and dismayed because such explosions, without verifying the realities on the ground, only lead to a polarization of communities, which civil society cannot afford. Therefore, we order the judicial police that if a complaint is made by the victim to the police for any harassment, the police must take immediate action to ensure that the mother and son are allowed to live their lives free of interference and harassment. unjustified.. “
Therefore, the Bench Division rejected the Grievor’s attempt to suggest that the mother and son were in the care of an extremist organization. The motion in brief was therefore dismissed.
Case title: Gilbert PT v. State of Kerala and the Ors
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