A jail term would send shivers down the spine of anyone but there are some who want to spend time in prison out of their own choice.

In Lucknow, there are many who are doing it to counter a ‘jail yog‘ in their kundali (horoscope), Times of India reported.

For instance, a 38-year-old businessman, Ramesh Singh, from Gomtinagar served a 24-hour jail term after the family astrologer told him about the ‘jail yog’ in his ‘kundali’. As suggested by the astrologer, Ramesh spent some time in jail and even had the food served to undertrials to end the threat.

While jail is a place even hardened criminals dread to end up, some superstitious believers choose to spend time behind bars out of their own will and without having broken the law. The reason behind this unusual yearning is the belief that their ‘kundali’ or horoscope will be neutralised with jail time.

Ramesh Singh, 38, a businessman from Gomtinagar, served a 24-hour ‘imprisonment’ in May. “After going through my ‘kundali’(horoscope), our family astrologer revealed that I have a ‘jail yog’, which would land me in trouble in future. Everyone in the family got scared since then. The astrologer then suggested if I spend some time in jail without any fault, the threat would end,” he said.

Singh moved an application before the district administration at the end of April with a copy of his ‘kundali’. After his papers were vetted, Singh was allowed to spend 24 hours in the lock-up. His astrologer instructed him to follow all jail rules for undertrials during his stay, including consuming the food served to them. “I also pray to god to pardon my sin and help me stay on the right path so that I never commit any crime,” he said.

The district administration helps these believers fulfil their wish. Lucknow DM Kaushal Raj Sharma said that his office receives around two dozen such requests every year.

“Applicants urge us to allow them to spend time in ‘jail’ for 24-48 hours.” While only a court can pronounce a ‘jail sentence’, those making these requests are nevertheless allowed to spend time in lock-up.

“There is no legal provision that allows us to lodge a person without any criminal record in lock-up. But we permit those with such requests on religious grounds. To ensure that the purpose of going to ‘jail’ (read lock-up) is purely religious, the permission is given after thorough verification in which crucial documents — including the ‘kundali’ of the applicant — are checked,” said a district administration officer.

Another believer is Ankit Chaturvedi, who chose to go for a ‘jail yatra’ in January. He said: “I learnt an important lesson of life in the lock-up — survival is possible even with the bare minimum. I slept on the floor, drank water that I would otherwise have not used, ate a meal I would not even have looked at and counted every breath to complete 24 hours.” He couldn’t hold back his tears at the sight of his parents and sister who came to greet him with ‘kumkum’ and ‘aarti’ at the end of his jail stay.

Bipin Pandey of Lucknow University’s astrology department said,”There are three houses in a ‘kundali’ which are affected by the placement of “Raahu”. The first is fourth house, in which a person is assigned by destiny to go to jail, but there is no fixed duration. It may be few hours, days, week or months. If Rahu is in the eighth house, a person is destined to go to jail and also face death sentence. Whereas in 12th house, a person is destined to go to jail multiple times. I usually advice peop ..