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Dismissing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1. Astrology is a science, which claims to foretell the future or make predictions by studying the supposed influence of the relative positions of the moon, sun, planets and other stars on human affairs. It, therefore, requires study of celestial bodies, of their positions, magnitudes, motions, and distances, etc. Astronomy is a pure science. It was studied as a subject in ancient India and India has produced great astronomers, long before anyone in the western world studied it as a subject. Since Astrology is partly based upon the study of movement of sun, earth, planets and other celestial bodies, it is a study of science at least to some extent. [198-F-G] Webster's International Dictionary and Encyclopedia Britannica, 2nd Edn., referred to. 2. Courts are not experts in academic matters and it is not for them to decide as what course should be taught in university and what should be their curriculum. [199-B] University of Mysore v. Govinda Rao, AIR (1965) SC 491 and J.P. Kulshreshtha v. Chancellor, Allahabad University, [1980] 3 SCC 418, relied on. 3. The precise question as to whether `Jyotir Vigyan' should be included as a course of study having been considered and examined by an Expert Body of the UGC and they having recommended for incfuding the said course for study and award of degree in universities, it will not be proper for this Court to interfere with the aforesaid decision specially when no violation of any statutory provisions is demonstrated. [200-A-B] 4. It is not possible to accept the appellants' contention that the prescription of `Jyotir Vigyan' as a course of study has the effect of saffronising the education or that it in any manner militates against the concept of secularism which is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution and is essential for the governance of the country. [200-B-C] DAY College v. State of Punjab, [1971] 2 SCC 269 and Santosh Kumar v. Secretary Ministry of Human Resources, [1994] 6 SCC 579, relied on. Dr. K. Natarajan v. Union of India, (WP No. 13540 of 2001) (Mad.), approved. Susan Epperson v. State of Arkansas, 21 L Ed 2d 228, referred to. CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 5886 of 2002.

   

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