Supreme Court Halts Allahabad High Court’s Order on Determining Rape Survivor’s Manglik Status

The Supreme Court has intervened to suspend an order by the Allahabad High Court that mandated the examination of a rape survivor’s Kundali (astrological birth chart) by the Head of Astrology Department at Lucknow University. The Vacation Bench, comprising Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Pankaj Mithal, issued the stay order after taking suo motu cognizance of the Single-Judge Bench’s ruling on May 23. The High Court verdict had come in response to a bail application filed by the accused, who claimed that the survivor’s Mangalik status prohibited their marriage. The Apex Court expressed concern over the intrusion into an individual’s right to privacy and questioned the relevance of astrology in the case, while respecting the opinions of all parties involved.

The Supreme Court’s intervention came after the Vacation Bench reviewed the circumstances surrounding the High Court’s decision. The accused in the case had argued that the alleged rape survivor’s status as a Mangalik, a belief based on astrological considerations, prevented their marriage from taking place. In response, the High Court had ordered the examination of the survivor’s Kundali by the Head of Astrology Department at Lucknow University.

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However, the Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court found this line of inquiry to be irrelevant and a violation of the survivor’s right to privacy. While acknowledging that astrology is taught as a subject in universities, the court emphasized that the intrusion into an individual’s personal life on the grounds of astrology was unacceptable.

The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the High Court’s order signifies its commitment to protecting the privacy and dignity of individuals, particularly in sensitive cases such as sexual assault. By halting the astrological examination, the court has affirmed that an individual’s personal beliefs or astrological status should not determine the outcome of a legal case.

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The Supreme Court’s stance reflects a broader recognition of the right to privacy as a fundamental aspect of an individual’s autonomy and personal freedom. It underlines the principle that legal matters should be determined based on evidence and the applicable laws, rather than subjective beliefs or practices.

The decision also highlights the need for legal institutions to carefully consider the implications of incorporating astrology or other non-scientific practices into legal proceedings. By setting aside the High Court’s order, the Supreme Court has sent a clear message that the right to privacy and the principles of justice must take precedence over unfounded or superstitious beliefs.

This ruling is expected to have significant implications for future cases involving the intersection of astrology and legal proceedings, reinforcing the importance of evidence-based decision-making and protecting individuals’ privacy rights.

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