Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding rape allegations against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday said it was not in a position to direct regulation of godmen and astrologers and the matter lay in the realm of the legislature.

Acting on a public interest litigation petition, a Division Bench of Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and D.K. Upadhyaya passed the order, citing that certain legal measures such as the Drugs and Magical Remedies Act already existed against such practices.

The petitioners, Uttar Pradesh based IPS officer Amitabh Thakur and social activist Nutan Thakur, had prayed before the court to put some regulatory mechanisms in place for godmen and astrologers.

‘Treat them as professionals’

They said that most of the astrologers and godmen, claiming “divinity and supernatural powers,” got monetary benefits from people in return for their services. So, they needed to be treated as professionals.

The petitioners prayed for the formation of two separate professional bodies at the national and regional level consisting people from these fields to safeguard the interests of the common man.