The Supreme Court on Saturday stayed an Allahabad High Court order directing the astrology department of Lucknow University to examine the “kundali” or horoscope of a woman who was allegedly raped to ascertain whether she is a ‘mangalik’, PTI reported.
According to superstition, a “mangalik”, or person born under the influence of Mars, is destined for marital misfortune.
A bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Pankaj Mithal on Saturday passed the order in a special hearing after taking cognisance of a Live Law report on the High Court judgement.
The High Court had passed the order on May 23 while hearing a bail application of a man accused of raping the woman on the pretext of marriage.
The counsel representing the accused had argued that since that woman was a “manglik”, her marriage with his client could not be solemnised. The woman refuted the claim.
The High Court had then asked the astrology department to determine if the claim is true and submit a report in a sealed cover within three weeks.
On Sunday, the Supreme Court said that the order was “highly disturbing”. It added that courts cannot use astrology while deciding a bail plea, reported Bar and Bench.
Advocate Ajay Kumar Singh, appearing for the complainant, said that the High Court order was passed following the consent of both parties.
He said the court has the power to seek advice from experts and that astrology was taught as a subject in Lucknow University, reported Live Law.
“But this is totally out of context,” Justice Dhulia said. “The right to privacy is disturbed…We do not want to join facts on what astrology has to do with this. We respect your sentiments on that.”
Justice Mithal said that he cannot understand why the High Court even considered the astrological aspect of the case.