Apropos of the astrology/science case, the Bombay HC deferred to a Supreme Court judgment in a similar case and quoted that “the Supreme Court has already considered the issue and ruled that astrology is science”.

That is not exactly true as a copy of the SC judgment shows. The SC was hearing a petition to restrict UGC funding to astrology related courses. Excerpts from the judgment:

According to the above mentioned standard books 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 study of movement of sun, earth, planets and other celestial bodies, it is a study of science at least to some extent.

and

The appellants do not allege breach of any statutory provision, rule or regulation. Their complaint is that the inclusion of Jyotir Vigyan as a course of study in the university is wrong as the accuracy or correctness of the subject, namely Jyotir Vigyan has not been established by the scientific tests or experiments. 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 UGC and they having recommended for including 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.

In essence, it ruled that the part of astrology which deals with the study of planets is a science and that it wasn’t in the business of deciding what is a science and what isn’t.

Fair enough, I say.

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‘Courts says astrology is a science’ is a more attractive headline though.

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Link via Nikhil M.

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