In light of the extraordinary powers claimed by psychics all over the world one wonders how these powers are viewed by the judiary. Can psychics who claim to produce exceptions to the laws of nature get away with claiming exemption from the laws of society? Unfortunately, this sometimes seems to work.
A case in question involves the Indian godman, Satya Sai Baba, who claims the power to materialise any desired object out of thin air. Sai Baba's way of accomplishing this feat is indistinguishable from the way any competent conjurer would do the same. Although he only materialises 'holy' ash for his poorer followers he has a long history of producing gold objects for the wealthy and influential members of his flock. This book lists 89 such objects for the years 1968 to 1978 alone.
Now according to Indian law only licensed dealers are allowed to take part in the production of gold and Sai Baba doesn't have such a license. This fact was brought to the attention of the Regional Office of Gold Control as well as to the High Court of Andrah Pradesh by the indefatigable anti-guru, B. Premanand.
Judge Anjaneyulu, however, ruled that the law doesn't apply to Sai Baba because he materialises his gold from thin air. The only objection that Premanand could make against this strange decision was to appeal to the voice of reason: "Defence based on spiritual powers is not recognised in law. If such a defence is permitted, there is not a single offence the commission of which could be met with the penalties and punishments, for the reason that on a plea of spiritual power being raised by the accused there is no way to prove or disprove the existence or non-existence of the pleaded spiritual power." Unfortunately Premanand's words went unheeded.
This book, which recounts Premanand's battle in the courts, shows that in the end there can be no justice without reason.
B. Premanand, Satya Sai Baba and the Gold Control Act. Published by INDIAN CSICOP, Podanur 1986
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Last update: June 24. 1995