Tiwari paternity suit: Plea challenging DNA test hearing Feb 7


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday deferred till Feb 7 hearing on Congress leader N.D. Tiwari’s plea challenging its directive to undergo DNA test to determine if he was the biological father of a young man who has made the claim.

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Challenging the single bench’s order, Tiwari filed an appeal before a division bench of Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice Siddharth Mridul Jan 24 that he cannot be directed to undergo such a DNA test.

Rohit Shekhar, 31, claims to be the biological son born out of an alleged relationship between his mother Ujjwala Sharma and the Congress leader.

The bench said, “Why are you looking into the order which is already passed, you should have looked before.”

Senior advocate Ashok Desai, appearing for 85-year-old Tiwari, told the court: “The single judge order asking the leader to undergo a DNA test was erroneous as a legal and valid marriage was subsisting between Ujjwala Sharma and Bimal Prasad Sharma, the legitimate father of Rohit Shekhar.”

Desai said the words, paternity and legitimacy, were interchangeable and no distinction can be drawn between them.

“By drawing distinction between words, paternity and legitimacy, the single judge erred and failed to appreciate the fact that enacting the law is not within the purview of the judiciary and in any case, the high court has no power of making any law,” Desai said.

He also cited a Supreme Court ruling to buttress his argument and said even scientific tests like DNA are not foolproof.

“The DNA tests are 99.99 percent conclusive,” the bench said and also sought to know from Tiwari’s counsel as to whether he sought a stay of the order.

Meanwhile, Rohit’s counsel Kirtiman Singh said, “Let the leader give his sample for the DNA test in a sealed cover.”

The bench slated the next hearing Feb 7.

Tiwari, who had held the posts of chief minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh and later Uttarakhand, opposed the paternity suit filed by Rohit.

Tiwari, who last year resigned as governor in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct, countered the claims and said that he never had any physical relationship with Ujjwala, who is also a Congress activist, and Rohit was not entitled to seek a DNA test as a matter of right.

Tiwari, Rohit and his mother Ujjwala are supposed to appear before the Joint Registrar for completing the formalities regarding the medical test Feb 8.