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'Independence Must Be Given To Individuals To Believe, Imagine And Ponder': Madras HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Public Awareness Against Astrological Superstitions

Aaratrika Bhaumik
30 Aug 2021 5:38 AM GMT
Independence Must Be Given To Individuals To Believe, Imagine And Ponder: Madras HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Public Awareness Against Astrological Superstitions
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Opining that some amount of independence must be given to individuals to believe, imagine and ponder over their astrological beliefs, the Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the Court's leave to direct the concerned authorities to widely spread public awareness against astrological superstitions in a bid to eradicate its consequential...

Opining that some amount of independence must be given to individuals to believe, imagine and ponder over their astrological beliefs, the Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the Court's leave to direct the concerned authorities to widely spread public awareness against astrological superstitions in a bid to eradicate its consequential evils.

Addressing the concern raised, a Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu observed,

"As much as the petitioner should be lauded for trying to orient citizens to a more scientific regime and shed superstitious beliefs, the court cannot issue any direction of the kind sought and some amount of independence has to be given to the individual to believe, imagine and ponder over the same"

The PIL moved by petitioner A.K.Hemaraj prayed directions to be issued to the concerned authorities the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru, to widely spread public awareness in all social media, TV, newspapers about the scientifically proven truth on the subject of astrology and its adverse implications. This would ensure that innocent parents do not inevitably harm the career prospects and lives of their children owing to such astrological superstitions.

Enumerating upon the continuous evolving nature of science and the uncertainty surrounding scientific principles, the Bench observed,

"Even science in such regard is not complete or absolute. No sooner was Pluto relegated from the status of a planet, than a distant planet appears to have been discovered that may not have encircled the Sun in course of the entire duration men have been gazing at the sky. Indeed, there is also much dispute as to whether the planet X, as the distant object is called, was propelled out of the inner solar system or came from a separate solar system and the gravity of the Sun did not let go of it"

It further added that the science behind the creation of the universe is still at its nascent stage and accordingly remarked,

"Though the knowledge in this field, ever since Einstein's theory of relativity, has increased considerably, there are several unanswered questions and there is no clue as to the reason for the formation of the universe despite space and time being seen on the same platform and the latest telescopes having taken virtual vision to probably the earliest millionth of the approximately 13.8 billion-year lifetime of the known universe….there are some matters in which exact answers may not be available as the only known intelligent life form in the universe endeavours to grapple with the unknown"

However, the Court acknowledged that the State in its parens patriae role must devise a mechanism to keep citizens more informed about the evil practices associated with astrological superstitions.

Accordingly, the petition was disposed of without costs.

Case Title: A.K.Hemaraj v. The Government of Tamil Nadu

Click Here To Read/Download Order 



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