Delhi HC rejects ND Tiwari’s plea on DNA test

New Delhi, February 10 (PTI): The Delhi high court today dismissed veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari’s appeal against its earlier order asking him to undergo DNA test on a plea made by a Delhi youth claiming to be his biological son. A division bench of Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Siddharth Mridul also imposed a cost of Rs25,000 on Tiwari while dismissing his plea challenging the court’s single-judge order asking him to undergo the DNA test.
“Irreparable loss is bound to visit the plaintiff (Rohit Shekhar) if the orders under the application are not immediately passed in as much as the suit itself may be rendered infructuous and vital evidence may be lost forever,” the bench said while dismissing the Congress leader’s plea. A single-judge bench of the high court on December 23 had asked the 85-year-old leader to undergo a DNA test on the paternity suit filed by Delhi youth Rohit Shekhar who claims to be his biological son born out of the leader’s alleged relationship with his mother Ujjawala Sharma.
The division bench had on Monday reserved its order on Tiwari’s petition, dismissing his plea to suspend the single-judge bench’s order at least for the time being so that the proposed court proceedings, slated for Tuesday to determine issues related to withdrawal of his blood sample for DNA test, could be deferred. Appearing for Tiwari, senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, had sought an interim stay on the December 23 order, arguing “there was no urgency as the petitioner (Rohit) has not sought any pecuniary relief”. “Can your client (Tiwari) file an affidavit that he would remain alive for next ten years?” the bench had shot back turning down the plea.
Bhushan had also contended that Tiwari cannot be compelled by the court to give his blood sample and there were various Supreme Court judgements on the issue. Bhushan had contended that the single-judge order asking Tiwari to undergo the test was erroneous as a legal and valid marriage was subsisting between Ujjwala and Bimal Prasad Sharma, the legitimate father of Rohit. Moreover, Ujjwala and Bimal Sharma had access to each other and there was conclusive proof that Rohit was their legitimate child, he said. He also argued that the words paternity and legitimacy were interchangeable and no distinction can be drawn between them.
Rohit’s counsel Sudhir Nandrajog, however, opposed Tiwari’s plea saying paternity and legitimacy were two distinct issues and the single judge had rightly asked him to undergo the test. The judge had asked Tiwari to undergo the DNA test saying the wider interest of a person of not being declared an illegitimate child has to be kept in mind. Tiwari, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand who had held key ministerial portfolios at the Centre, was forced to resign as Andhra Pradesh governor in 2009 amid allegations of sexual misconduct against him following the airing of a sting operation in news channels purportedly with some women. The formalities as to how and where Tiwari’s blood sample will be drawn for his DNA test on Shekhar’s paternity suit would be determined on February 19 by the high court’s joint registrar Deepak Garg in the presence of the counsel of the two parties.