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The Allahabad High Court had, in the impugned order, directed the Head of the Astrology Department, Lucknow University to determine if an alleged rape victim is a Mangalik by examining her 'Kundali' within 10 days. The high court had further asked both the parties to submit 'Kundali' to the Astrology Department.
The Supreme Court on Saturday stayed the Allahabad High Court's order for examining horoscope of a girl by the Lucknow University's Astrology department to find out if she was 'manglik'.
The High Court on May 23 had directed the varsity's head of the department to decide the matter by studying the horoscope within 10 days and submit a report in sealed cover within three weeks. The High Court was dealing with bail plea of Gobind Raju alias Monu in a case of rape on the false promise of marriage.
Taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, a bench of Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Pankaj Mithal suspended the operation of the May 23 order, saying "we don't understand why Astrology report was called for".
"We do not want to join facts on what astrology has to do with this. We are only concerned with subject matter linking to this," the bench said.
In a special sitting on Saturday, the court said the High Court's order was totally out of context. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union government, said the order is very disturbing and may be stayed.
Appearing for the complainant, advocate Ajay Kumar Singh submitted that the ultimate sufferer would be the girl only. He said the High Court's order was passed on consent of the parties.
He also contended that Astrology is nowadays taken as science and taught in universities.
"What has this got to do with the subject matter. There are several issues, we don't want to spell out, including the right to privacy here," the bench said.
"Astrology is a science, no doubt. We respect all this," the bench added.
While staying the order, the court also issued notice to the parties. The court also clarified that it has not gone into the merit of the matter. The bench also asked the High Court to consider the matter on June 26, the date already fixed.
"We say nothing on merits. We stay the operation and effect of the order. The matter would be taken up by High Court on next date of listing and shall be dealt on merits,” the bench said.
The court has fixed the matter for consideration in the week commencing from July 10.
Hearing the bail application, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had directed the Head of Department (Astrology Department), Lucknow University to determine if an alleged rape victim is a Mangalik by examining her 'Kundali' within 10 days. The court asked both the parties to submit 'Kundali' to the Astrology Department.
The man's counsel contended the marriage could not be solemnised because the woman was a mangalik. The girl's counsel, on the contrary, denied she was mangalik, forcing the court to refer her horoscope for independent evaluation.
Case Title: IN RE: ORDER DT. 23.05.2023 IN GOBIND RAI @ MONU VERSUS STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH (CRL. MISC. BAIL APPLN. NO. 13485/2022) PASSED BY THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD (LUCKNOW BENCH)
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