A Delhi High Court judge has recused herself from hearing two appeals of veteran Congress leader N.D. Tiwari challenging a previous order rejecting his plea for cross examination outside court premises in a paternity suit.
“I have dealt with the matter on the original side. So the petitions be listed before some other bench,” Justice Gita Mittal said and posted the matter on January 15.
A bench comprising justices Justice Mittal and Justice Deepa Sharma was to hear on Friday the two separate appeals filed by 89-year-old Tiwari against the orders of single judge bench in the paternity suit filed by a youth seeking to declare him as his biological father.
The single judge bench, on September 18, 2013, had rejected Mr. Tiwari’s plea to hold his cross-examination outside the high court premises either at Nehru Bal Bhawan or UP Sadan or Jawahar Lal Nehru National Youth Centre.
It had directed the leader to appear before the local commissioner, appointed by the high court, for recording of evidence in the paternity suit.
Mr. Tiwari did not appear and instead moved an application seeking postponement of cross-examination for eight weeks. The court rejected this plea also.
Aggrieved by these orders, Mr. Tiwari moved the division bench for quashing of the orders.
“No prejudice is going to be caused if appellant (Tiwari) is allowed to be crossed-examined at UP Sadan/UP Bhawan or Uttarakhand Bhawan or at Rouse Avenue, New Delhi or at Lucknow due to his age ailments,” one of the applications said.
Mr. Tiwari further said that he cannot take up cross examination for longer time as he feels tired.
Earlier, the court had given him the last opportunity to file his affidavit within a week.
On August 21, last year, local commissioner S.M. Chopra, a retired additional district judge, after recording the submission of the counsel, concluded the recording of evidence as Mr. Tiwari failed to file his affidavit in evidence.
Earlier, the local commissioner had barred Mr. Tiwari from leading any evidence in favour of his claim that he did not father 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar.
The Congress leader has so far refused to settle the lawsuit out of court through mediation, saying there is a possibility that the medical evidence is not 100 per cent accurate.
The high court had on July 27, 2012 read out that the DNA report in the case according to which Mr. Tiwari was shown as Mr. Shekhar’s biological father.
Mr. Tiwari had given blood sample for the DNA test on May 29 last year 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 Rohit who had filed the paternity suit in 2008, claiming that the veteran Congress leader is his biological father. Mr. Tiwari had refuted his claim.