Undergo paternity test, court tells Tiwari (Second Lead)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NEW DELHI - Veteran Congress leader N.D. Tiwari was Thursday directed by Delhi High Court to undergo a DNA test to ascertain a young man’s claim that Tiwari is his biological father.

Rejecting Tiwari’s plea that he could not be forced to undergo the DNA test, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat said that “the wider interest of a child of not being declared a bastard has to be kept in mind”.

The court directed Tiwari, 85, petitioner Rohit Shekhar, 31, and his mother Ujjwala Sharma to appear before the joint registrar of the court Feb 8, 2011 to comply with the court’s direction on DNA test.

Shekhar was jubilant after the court’s decision. “I am very happy,” he said.

“Justice has been delivered. This was the only route to justice. The court has differentiated between legitimacy, illegitimacy and paternity,” he said.

Shekhar’s foster father B.P. Sharma had undergone a DNA test on his own. Its result established that he was not the biological father of Shekhar.

Shekhar said in his petition filed in 2007 that he was born out of a relationship between his mother and Tiwari. Ujjwala was a Congress activist.

Tiwari while opposing Shekhar’s plea said that it was not a matter of right for the petitioner to seek a DNA test on him. Tiwari denied having physical relationship with Ujjwala Sharma.

Tiwari contended that it was both against the law and the principle of equity to compel him to undergo a paternity test. He argued that forcing him to undergo a DNA test breached his right to privacy.

Justice Bhat did not accept this contention of Tiwari on the grounds that it was the right of every child to know about his or her biological parents.

The court earlier rejected Tiwari’s plea questioning Shekhar’s paternity suit. Tiwari had contended that he filed the suit 31 years after his birth and intended to malign him.

Tiwari unsuccessfully moved the Supreme Court against a high court order that dismissed his plea challenging the paternity suit filed by Shekhar.

Both Shekhar and his mother were present in the court when the high court judgment was pronounced Thursday.

Shekhar later said that everything would become clear after Tiwari submits a blood sample for the DNA test.

Ujjwala Sharma said that the judgment answered her son’s quest to know who is his biological father.

Filed under: Court, Immigration

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