The Supreme Court stayed an unusual order issued by the Allahabad High Court asking the head of the Astrology Department of Lucknow University to decide whether a woman, an alleged rape victim, is 'manglik' or not.
The high court had passed the order on May 23 while hearing the bail plea of a man, accused of raping the woman on the false promise of marriage. Before the high court, the counsel for the man had argued that since she was a 'manglik', marriage between the two could not be solemnised and has been refused.
What did the high court order say?
Since the counsel for the woman argued that she is not 'mangalik', single-judge Justice Brij Raj Singh ordered the woman and the applicant to submit their kundalis to the Astrology department of the Lucknow University, according to a report by Bar and Bench.
The University was directed to submit a report in a sealed cover within three weeks.
In its order, the high court had said, "Let Head of Department (Astrology Department), Lucknow University decide the matter whether the girl is mangalik or not and the parties will produce the kundali before the Head of Department (Astrology Department), Lucknow University within ten days from today. The Head of Department (Astrology Department), Lucknow University is directed to submit report in a sealed cover within three weeks to this Court. List this case on June 26, 2023."
According to Hindu astrology, a person born under the influence of the planet Mars (mangal) is believed to have "mangal dosha" (affliction) and is called 'manglik'. Many superstitious Hindus believe marriage between a Manglik and a non-Manglik is inauspicious and can be disastrous.A vacation bench of the apex court, which took suo motu cognisance of the matter, stayed the effect and operation of the high court order.
"This court takes a suo motu cognisance of this case which has been placed before us," said a bench headed by Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, which assembled to hear the matter on a Saturday.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta at the outset said the High Court's direction was disturbing and should be stayed.
"Nobody is questioning whether it can be decided a manglik or not and astrology is a science. But here the question is can the court order get into this," SG Mehta argued, as per Bar and Bench.
The Supreme Court said it is unable to understand why the high court asked both the sides to submit their horoscopes to ascertain whether the woman was a 'manglik' while hearing a bail application.
(With inputs from PTI)