SC asks Tiwari to undergo DNA test in paternity suit
"Enough is enough, you were not present on earlier occasions. Having regard to your age, we told you to give sample in a sealed cover. We gave you protection under Article 21, but enough is enough," said a bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad.
The direction was given on a paternity suit filed by Rohit Shekhar, who claims himself to be the biological son of 86-year-old Tiwari. "Give the blood sample, what is the problem with that?" the bench told Tiwari`s counsel Sushil Jain during the hearing of Tiwari`s last year`s plea, still pending with the apex court.
Tiwari had challenged the high court`s December 23, 2010 order, asking him to undergo the DNA test. On the last hearings of his plea in March 2011, the Supreme Court had given Tiwari the option to convey to the high court his preferred mode of undergoing DNA test – either through examination of the blood sample or his saliva or hair strand.
The apex court had earlier also assured Tiwari that his DNA test result would not be made public unless it would be unavoidable in the interest of justice. But with Tiwari not agreeing to undergo a DNA test, the apex court had asked him to go back to the high court with his plea.
In the high court, Tiwari contended that he cannot be physically compelled to give his blood sample for his DNA test. He even won on this count with a single-judge bench of the high court ruling that he cannot be physically challenged to give his blood sample.
The high court, however, last week, on a plea by Shekhar, ordered that Tiwari will have to give his blood sample for his DNA test, for which the police assistance can also be taken in case he refuses to do so.
Tiwari`s counsel submitted that if Shekhar`s plea was allowed, it would lead to a number of such litigations by people who will seek DNA tests in all paternity suits, thus affecting the reputation of an individual, who is entitled to protection under Article 21 (right to liberty).
The bench, however, was not impressed with the argument and reiterated that Tiwari must give the sample. The bench also suggested that Tiwari can file a suit against Shekhar on charges of maligning his reputation.
In his plea to the apex court, which came up for hearing today, Tiwari had argued that it would be a violation of his right to privacy and would cause him public humiliation if he is directed to undergo the DNA test.
Tiwari, who had held the post of chief minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh and later of Uttarakhand, had contended that the high court had committed an error in passing the order and it should look at other evidence too to decide the paternity suit rather than focusing on the DNA test which is not a conclusive evidence.