The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order on an appeal filed by senior Congress leader N. D. Tiwari against a decision by its single-judge Bench to impose cost of Rs.75,000 on him in a paternity suit filed by a man claiming to be his biological son. A Bench comprising Justice Vikramjeet Sen and Justice Mukta Gupta reserved the order after hearing arguments from counsel of both sides.
Appearing for Mr. Tiwari, senior counsel Rajiv Nayyar submitted that earlier the Court had allowed Rohit Shekhar, the man claiming to be the leader's son, to withdraw the suit, not with a permission to add new facts into it. However, when he filed a fresh suit, he added certain new facts relating to his attempts to meet Mr. Tiwari in 2005. This (addition) had not been permitted by the Court then, counsel argued.
Challenging his arguments, Shekhar's counsel Sudhir Nandrajog said incorporation of new facts is not a dilution of the suit as the cause of action or bone of contention remained there.
The 84-year-old Mr. Tiwari approached the Division Bench after the single-judge Bench on August 13 dismissed his plea seeking deletion of certain paragraphs from the paternity suit and imposed cost of Rs.75,000 to be paid to Shekhar. Mr. Tiwari contended that the judge erred in rejecting his plea and imposing the cost without issuing notice to the other party.
In an affidavit filed in the Court, Mr. Tiwari had hit back Shekhar's mother Ujjwala Sharma, who is also a Congress leader, and her son, saying he did not have and never had any physical relationship with her.
“The plaintiff (Shekhar) is not entitled to seek a DNA test as a matter of right. The same is contrary not only to the law but also to equity,” he had said.“To say that I developed a liking for her (Ujjwala) and that after 8-10 years we entered into a relationship is scandalous and defamatory,” the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister had said.“The plaintiff (Shekhar) is not my son. The question of acknowledging anything as alleged is denied. Every allegation/insinuation is denied,” he had said.
The High Court had rejected Mr. Tiwari's plea for dismissal of the petition on the ground that it was filed 31 years after the petitioner was born in order to malign his character.