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DNA test can be done to establish infidelity: SC

The interest of justice is best served by ascertaining truth, says Bench

DNA testing is the most legitimate and scientifically perfect means a man can use to establish his wife’s infidelity, the Supreme Court has held.

If a man disowns his child and seeks divorce from his wife on the ground of adultery, a family court can order a DNA test, said a Bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and A.K. Agarwal.

Writing the judgment, Justice Khehar said: “Despite the consequences of a DNA test, it was permissible for a court to allow it, if it was eminently needed, after balancing the interests of the parties. The interest of justice is best served by ascertaining the truth and the court should be furnished with the best available science and may not be left to bank upon presumptions, unless science has no answer to the facts in issue.”

Rejecting the contention that under the Indian Evidence Act there was always presumption that the husband and wife were living together and the child was born to them, the Bench said: “In our opinion, when there is a conflict between a conclusive proof envisaged under the law and a proof based on scientific advancement accepted by the world community to be correct, the latter must prevail over the former. ”

The Bench said the DNA test should simultaneously be taken as the most “authentic, rightful and correct means also for the wife to rebut the assertions made by the husband and to establish that she had not been unfaithful, adulterous or disloyal.”

In the present case, Dipanwita Roy of Kolkata challenged a Calcutta High Court judgment ordering a DNA test (after a family court refused to do so) sought by her husband Ronobroto Roy to prove that his wife had extramarital relations and that the child was born out of this relationship.

The Bench said: “In our view, but for the DNA test, it would be impossible for the respondent-husband to establish and confirm the assertions made in the pleadings.”

While upholding the order passed by the High Court, the Bench gave the wife liberty to comply with or disregard it.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 7:58:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dna-test-can-be-done-to-establish-infidelity-sc/article6524791.ece

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