Manipur sexual assault Supreme Court
The SC Bench is hearing a batch of petitions concerning the violence in Manipur | iStock photo for representation

SC stays Allahabad HC order seeking report on rape survivor’s ‘mangalik’ status

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The Supreme Court has stayed an Allahabad High Court order directing an examination of a rape victim’s horoscope to determine if she was a “mangalik”.

The apex court on Saturday (June 3) remarked that an astrological report was not required while hearing a bail plea and asked the high court to evaluate the accused’s plea on merit.

According to Live Law, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court granted bail to the rape accused but ordered the head of the Lucknow University astrology department to submit a report within three weeks on whether the plaintiff was “mangalik” or not.

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Mangalik or not?

The woman has alleged in her complaint that she had physical relations with the accused after he promised to marry her, but he later refused to marry her saying she was a “mangalik”. The defence lawyer, too, said in court that his client did not intend to marry the woman because she was a “mangalik”.

According to Hindu astrology, a “mangalik” is someone born under the inauspicious influence of the planet Mars (Mangal), which apparently causes adverse effects in a marriage with a non-mangalaik.

The plaintiff’s lawyer contested the claim and said the women was not a “mangalik”, prompting the court to direct both sides to submit their birth charts to the Lucknow University astrology department head within 10 days. The latter has been asked to submit the report in a sealed cover.

The high court will hear the case again on June 26.

Also read: SC rebukes HC judge for not rectifying orders on Meiteis’ quota in Manipur violence case

“No link with astrology”

However, the Supreme Court Vacation Bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Pankaj Mithal took suo motu cognisance of the May 23 order delivered by Justice Brij Raj Singh of Allahabad HC. They held a special sitting on Saturday and stayed the order, remarking that the matter had nothing to do with astrology.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta termed the order as “disturbing” and urged the court to put a stay on it. The plaintiff’s lawyer told the apex court that the HC had taken the consent of both the parties.

(With agency inputs)

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