PIL AGAINST ASTROLOGY
MUMBAI: This is one event which even the most astute astrologer could not have predicted. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Bombay high court against astrologers, practitioners of vastu, numerology, gemology and faith healers. The PIL has sought criminal action against such persons and a ban on the popular "forecasts'' on televisions and newspapers. The petition, filed by city-based organisation, Janhit Mach, has asked the courts to make it mandatory for astrologers for put a disclaimer in their advertisement, which reads: "It is not tried and tested''.
"Most of them operate deceitfully or fraudulently,'' said the petitioner Bhagwanji Raiyani. "The state has failed to perform its duty to develop scientific temper and crack down on such persons who misguide people,'' he added.
In his petition, Raiyani furnished a list of persons who he had approached to prove their skills, including self-proclaimed `gurus', astrologers, palmists, and vastu, gemology and numerology practitioners. Subsequently, he also registered non-cognisable complaints against a few.
"The practice and belief in astrology and related theories is devoid of any scientific process and experimentation, based on ludicrous theories of cosmic constellations, gravitation, divination, existing and non-existing solar objects as well as illusionary and imaginary placement of zodiac signs,'' stated the petition. The PIL added that astrology was supposed to be based on planetary positions but some planets, which were discovered during the last three centuries, don't find place in the astrological chart.
The predictions also cause harm by spreading rumours, alleged the petitioner, pointing to two specific incidents in the aftermath of an earthquake in Gujarat as well as end-of-the-world predictions. "The quacks sometimes spread rumours through their illogical predictions and cause great inconvenience, as well as monetary and business loss,'' said the PIL.
The PIL furnished a list of "predictions'' that had been proved to be false in recent times. Despite the enactment of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) and a pending bill Maharashtra Eradication of Block Magic and Evil and Aghori Practices Act, no action was taken against such persons, the petition claimed.
The PIL has sought the court directions to all "jyotish-related operators'' to prove their claims or face prosecution and a life ban from practising their "remedies''.
SOURCE: THE TIMES OF INDIA