Raj HC : Aarifa free to marry of her own choice


Jaipur, Nov 7 : The Rajasthan High Court today set free a 22-year-old woman from the Nari Niketan women’s home in Jodhpur, asking her to go wherever she wants to. She was sent to the women’s home last week following allegations that she was forcibly converted and married to a Muslim youth,Faez Modi.

The woman, now called Aarifa, earlier known as Payal Singhvi, appeared in court today amid tight security during the hearing of a habeas corpus writ petition filed by her brother. When the court asked her about her conversion and marriage, Aarifa said she had married Faiz Modi on her own will.

A Division Bench, headed by Justice Gopal Krishna Vyas, said the woman is no more a minor and was free to marry a man of her choice. The court directed the police to ensure her safety.

The petitioner alleged that Faiz Modi had blackmailed and kidnapped his sister, when she was going to college, after harassing her for several months. Her family also charged that her ‘nikahnama’ (marriage contract) was fake and was prepared after her “forcible conversion” to Islam.

The court said it sent Aarifa to Nari Niketan on November 1, the previous date of hearing, for her own safety. On the court’s direction, the state government filed an affidavit on the status of law on conversion in force in Rajasthan.

There was chaos outside the High Court after the order. Activists of right wing organisations gathered in large numbers and raised slogans against Aarifa being allowed to go with her husband.

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