On 23rd May 2023, the Allahabad High Court issued a bizarre order on a bail application of a rapist who proposed to marry the victim but backtracked stating that the victim is a “mangali”. The Court instead of looking into the merits of the case according to the law, ordered the horoscope of the victim to be sent to the Head of Department (Astrology), Lucknow University to ascertain whether the victim was a “mangali” or not, while dealing with the bail application of the accused. Many people opined that this is nothing but travesty of justice! While people in general and victims in particular rely on Courts as the last hope for them to get justice, such orders derail the basic tenets of justice.
The Apex Court took Suo moto cognisance of the case and stayed the proceedings of the lower court’s order to the Lucknow University.
Such a strangely unconventional and highly unusual order of the High Court has shocked the nation. The High Court’s highly ridiculous and illogical decision of probing the horoscope of the victim in a rape case instead of trying the accused, who had raped the victim on the promise of marriage, has evoked shock and disbelief amongst the people of this country. The accused took the defence that the marriage could not be solemnised because the woman was a “mangalik”. “Mangali” or “mangalik” is a person born under the influence of Mars as per Hindu Astrology. That the High Court, instead of appropriately dealing with a rape case as per law, chose to investigate the horoscope speaks volumes of the level of unscientific, misogynistic and patriarchal mind-set prevalent in the State of Uttar Pradesh and the Judiciary is not left far behind.
Developments across the world in science and technology helps mankind for better living in the twenty first century, whereas, in India, we come across such absurd happenings, quite frequently, where people are made to believe many such backward and irrational thinking, of which even the educated are willing victims. The present Government at the Centre promotes such illogical and mythological events as part of history which boasts even of plastic surgery having taken place in our country, many centuries ago. And the person promoting such ludicrous claims is none other than the Prime Minister himself who asked people to bang plates to create noise to eradicate the ‘Corona’ virus.
It is heartening to know that at least the Apex Court rubbished such conspicuously irrelevant orders of its lower court and posted the case for hearing in the month of July.
The country is witnessing a transformation in the minds and behaviour of the population, not for the better, and the people instigating and promoting such unscientific, unproven ideas and thoughts are none other than the people in the ruling party who wish to take our country backwards by many centuries. It is for the peace loving, progressive and people with scientific temper of this country to see through the designs of the dividers of the nation and be ever vigilant in standing up against such manipulations.