A youth’s paternity suit to declare N.D. Tiwari as his biological father was ordered to be heard on a day-to-day basis by the Delhi High Court on Monday after the veteran Congress leader refused to settle the issue through mediation.
“The local commissioner is hereby directed to conduct, preferably, the hearing on a day-to-day basis,” Justice Manmohan said.
The direction came after the counsel for the 88-year-old Congress leader refused to settle the lawsuit out of the court through mediation, saying there was a possibility that the medical evidence was not hundred percent accurate.
“Let this matter go to the mediation centre for settling it as the medical evidence in the form of DNA report clearly suggests that the respondent (Tiwari) is the father of the petitioner (Rohit Shekhar),” Justice Manmohan observed during the hearing.
Bahar-u-Barqi, counsel for Mr. Tiwari, did not accept the court’s suggestion and submitted that his client would like to contest the suit as the scientific proof cannot be held to be conclusive.
“It is almost conclusive and it seems that he does not want to do it (mediation process),” the court said and asked Vimala Maken, a retired additional district judge who had been appointed as the local commissioner in the case, to proceed on day-to-day basis with the recording of evidence in the matter.
The local commissioner would initiate the proceedings from January 21, the court said.
The court, meanwhile, also directed Mr. Tiwari to submit within four weeks a demand draft of Rs 46,000 which was imposed on him as cost during an earlier proceeding.
The high court on July 27 last year had read out the DNA report in the case as per which Mr. Tiwari was shown as Shekhar’s biological father.
Mr. Tiwari’s DNA report had been read out by a single-judge bench of the high court after a division bench dismissed his appeal against the single judge’s July 19 decision, concurring with the latter’s order that the report cannot be kept confidential.
Former Andhra Pradesh Governor Tiwari earlier had made a plea to the single judge for keeping DNA report confidential and holding in camera proceedings in the case, saying the Supreme Court had given such a direction on May 24.
The single judge had dismissed Mr. Tiwari’s plea against making public his DNA report saying the apex court’s order to maintain confidentiality was for the purpose of collection of his blood sample for the DNA test and the transmission of the report to the high court but not for the purpose of trial.
Mr. Tiwari had given blood sample for the DNA test on May 29 at his residence in Dehradun following the apex court’s order in the case, after repeatedly contesting against undergoing the test on various grounds.
Mr. Tiwari’s pleas had been objected to by 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar, who had filed the paternity suit in 2008, claiming the veteran Congress leader to be his biological father.
Mr. Tiwari had refuted Mr. Shekhar’s claim.