Selective presentation of News

Selective Presentation of News.

Rizwan was hounded to death for daring to marry for love. Calcutta weeps for him.

by Jaideep Mazumdar

(Outlook Magazine| Oct 22, 2007)

A collection of such articles on the same issue has been conviniently showcased by SACW. A death is always a sad occurrence and if there is allegations of murder it makes one wonder what is the difference between an animal and a human.

But what would be one’s reaction when (s)he reads the article reproduced below. It is a very recent one but yet one feels the complete silence of the media is shocking. The media has highlighted Ruchika Girohtra’s case. It may not do any good for her but in this case? The Judges involved, comments on blog sites (which seem to be the only source for this news) all talk callously about how it is legal for a 15 year old muslim girl to marry. What is not considered is that can a 15 year old convert without her parents’ approval.

A Foolish Judgment by the Calcutta High Court

Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari

Shubhendu Ray, a resident of Bakultala area of Bahrampur in the district of Murshidabad, West Bengal. Mr Ray is a businessman and a local leader of a political party. His daughter Anita is a 15-year-old girl. Shahidul, a local Muslim boy seduced Anita and forcefully abducted her on 14 October, this year. Later on, she was forcefully converted to Islam and on the next day Shahidul married her. On 20 October, Shubhendu Ray, with the help of the police, went to Shahidul’s house and recovered his daughter Anita. A case was moved against Shahidul and then onward he was absconding.

Meanwhile, Shahidul filed an anticipatory bail petition to the court at Barhamour but the petition was rejected. Then Shahidul moved his petition to the Calcutta High Court and a division bench, comprising of Justice Pinaki Ghosh and Justice Shailendra Prasad Talukdar (both of them are Hindus), granted the anticipatory bail to Shahidul, on 16 December. While delivering their verdict, the Judges said that, though marriage of a girl below 18 is unlawful according to Hindu Marriage Act, it is not applicable in the present case. Since Anita was converted to Islam prior to her marriage, the case falls under the purview of the Muslim Marriage Act and as the Muslim Marriage Act permits one to marry a 15 tear-old girl, hence Shahidul has done no offence.

The question therefore arises – Is conversion of a minor girl of 15 is valid in law? If not, then the conversion of minor girl Anita stands null and void in the court of law. So treating her marriage according to Muslim Marriage Act does not arise. Furthermore, eloping with a minor girl of 15 without the consent of her parents is a clear case of kidnapping, which is a highly criminal offence and how the honourable judges have overlooked this crime on the part of Shahidul before granting him the said anticipatory bail. Such carelessness and callousness of the honourable judges of a High Court is unpardonable.

The incident could not be verified as the main stream media has not reported it. Tha law sites have not reported the judgment. But a few blog sites have carried the story. One is reproduced above. Another is mentioned below. There are quite a few more but they seem to be replicates of the one linked here.


3 thoughts on “Selective presentation of News

  1. Mr. Sridhar,

    You are right in stating that a minor girl of 15 cannot be converted without the consent of her parents, and so she is still a HINDU, by law. The Honurable Judges have given the judgement without proper application of their minds. Perhaps the parents of the girl can go on appeal in a higher court.

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