N D Tiwari is biological father of Rohit Shekhar: HC
Before declaring the result of the DNA test, the report of the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) was desealed in the chamber of the judge in the presence of advocates for Rohit Shekhar and his mother Ujjwala Sharma. Though, the judge waited for the presence of Tiwari`s lawyer, none appeared on his behalf.
While announcing the result of the DNA test in the open court, the judge noted that "None has appeared on behalf of Defendant No 1 (Tiwari) though it is nearly 4 pm, nor any request has been made for an adjournment on behalf of defendant No 1. "Accordingly let the sealed cover, received from CDFD, Hyderabad be opened and the report be placed on the file, which would be available to the parties only".
The counsel for 32-year-old Shekhar and his mother had informed the judge that a division bench of the high court earlier today had rejected 87-year-old Tiwari`s plea not to open the DNA report before a single judge bench, adjudicating the paternity suit. The division bench had allowed Justice Reva Khetrapal, who had decided to open Tiwari`s DNA report and to declare the DNA test result in open court.
Dismissing Tiwari`s appeal against Justice Khetrapal`s July 19 decision, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, "Not opening the DNA report may lead to a lengthy process". Concurring with the single judge`s observation on Supreme Court`s direction to maintain confidentiality on Tiwari`s DNA profile, the bench had said, "We are in agreement with the single judge that nowhere the Supreme Court in its order stated that the DNA profile shall be kept in a sealed cover till the conclusion of trial. This DNA report is a piece of evidence.."
"The purpose was to cut short the controversy and to avoid an unnecessarily prolonged trial. If the sample is not opened now, it may lead to unnecessary cross-examination of the witnesses. We do not find merit in the petition, so it is dismissed," the bench had added. Tiwari`s counsel and senior advocate Mukul Gupta had sought quashing of the single judge`s order or to provide protection till the Supreme Court clarifies its May 24 order on the issue of confidentiality.
The senior lawyer submitted to the bench that after the single judge dismissed their plea to conduct the trial in-camera and also to keep the DNA report confidential, they have filed an application before the apex court, which is yet to hear their plea. Opposing Tiwari`s plea, plaintiff Rohit Shekhar`s lawyer Amit Sibal had said, "DNA report is a scientific evidence and the truth should come out as early as possible." He had further submitted that Tiwari is an old man and if any thing happens to him, the suit will become infructuous. Accordingly, the court must decide the matter at the earliest, he had added.
After hearing all the submissions, the bench had told Tiwari`s counsel, "It is a piece of evidence, how can you say that the piece of evidence can`t be opened. It is an open trial and the evidence has to be recorded." In his appeal, Tiwari had pleaded with the court to protect his "right to reputation," contending that the single-judge bench has adopted a "shortcut" to decide the suit and it would cause "grave injustice" to him.