“His refusal unjustified; we may go by corroborative proof on paternity”

While ruling that coercing senior Congress leader N.D. Tiwari to give his blood sample for a DNA test to decide the parentage of a young man would be an intrusion on his fundamental right to life and liberty, the Delhi High Court on Friday indicated that it would deduce the parentage of the youth on the basis of corroborative evidence.

The young man, Rohit Shekhar, has claimed that he was the biological son of the Congress leader.

Describing the refusal by Mr. Tiwari to provide the blood sample as “wilful,” “mala fide,” “unreasonable” and “unjustified,” Justice Gita Mittal said: “The Court would construe the weight to be attached to and the impact of this refusal by Mr. Tiwari while evaluating the evidence produced by the parties, which may be treated as corroborative evidence leading to the presumption that the result of the DNA profiling of Mr. Tiwari's blood sample would have supported the plaintiff's [Rohit Shekhar] claim.”

Mr. Tiwari had without protest participated in each proceeding undertaken by the Joint Registrar of the Court prior to refusing to give the blood sample. He had in fact refused to give the sample on the day when it was to be actually taken.

Justice Mittal dismissed the arguments put forward by Mr. Tiwari to refuse the blood sample, saying that “there is no justification or valid reason at all for Mr. Tiwari not to provide the sample directed by this court for the DNA test.”

“To protect dignity”

Mr. Tiwari had argued that he would not give his blood sample to ‘preserve,' ‘protect', and ‘defend' his personal dignity attained by long cherished service to the nation. He had further submitted that he could not be forced to undergo the test.

On his arguments, Justice Mittal said the Court had ordered him to undergo the test after considering his claimed rights; therefore, he had no right or privilege to refuse.

The Court passed the directions on a suit by Rohit Shekhar seeking a direction to Mr. Tiwari to undergo the DNA test to decide his claim that he was his biological son.

Petitions dismissed

The High Court and later the Supreme Court had dismissed Mr. Tiwari's petitions contesting the plea of the young man for subjecting him to DNA test to decide his parentage.

The procedure for the DNA test had been initiated following dismissal of an appeal of Mr. Tiwari against a Single Bench order by a Division Bench of the Court and later upholding of the Division Bench's order by the Supreme Court asking him to undergo the test to decide the claim of the youth.