Chief Justice Intervenes Allahabad High Court’s ‘Manglik’ Order for Rape Survivor

LI Network

Published on: 03 June 2023 at 22:43 IST

The Chief Justice of India (CJI), D Y Chandrachud, took an extraordinary step today by intervening in a case even though he is currently overseas.

The intervention was prompted by an order from the Allahabad High Court, which directed the examination of a rape survivor’s horoscope to determine if she is affected by “mangal dosha” (affliction caused by the planet Mars).

This move by the CJI is particularly unusual because the Supreme Court is currently on a summer break, with no hearings scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.

The CJI learned about the Allahabad High Court order this morning and instructed the court’s registry to establish a bench to address the matter. Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Pankaj Mithal convened a special session at 3 pm and stayed the high court’s order.

In certain segments of Indian society, there exists a belief that individuals born under the influence of Mars may have “mangal dosha,” and it is considered inauspicious for a manglik (a person with mangal dosha) to marry a non-manglik.

An Allahabad University professor, who was imprisoned for raping a woman under the false pretense of marriage, submitted a bail petition to the Allahabad High Court.

In his petition, he claimed that he could not marry the woman because she is manglik, seeking to support his plea. On May 23, the high court instructed the head of Lucknow University’s astrology department to examine the woman’s horoscope and verify the professor’s assertion. The court requested the horoscope to be submitted in a sealed envelope and mandated that the findings be presented within a week.

During the proceedings, the Supreme Court bench addressed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the case, and asked, ‘Mr. Mehta, have you reviewed this?

The Solicitor General replied, “I have reviewed this matter, and it is deeply troubling. I humbly request the esteemed judges to consider staying this order.”

An advocate representing the complainant informed the bench that the high court had issued the order with the consent of both parties. However, the bench expressed its confusion, stating that the order seemed irrelevant to the subject matter of the case. The bench further explained that aside from its irrelevance, the order raised numerous other concerns, including the violation of the right to privacy. They chose not to elaborate on the additional aspects at that moment. The bench decided to schedule further hearings for the case in July.

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