DNA Test Cannot Be Conducted To Clear Suspicion Regarding Paternity Of Child When There’s No Specific Denial Of Paternity: Kerala HC
The Kerala High Court has held that DNA test cannot be pressed into in order to clear suspicion regarding paternity of the child when there is no specific denial of paternity.
The Court was deciding an original petition filed against the order passed by the Family Court whereby it dismissed the application of the petitioner while referring to Section 112 of the Indian Evidence Act.
A Single Bench of Justice A. Badharudeen observed, “… the question to be considered is; whether DNA test can be pressed into, in order to clear a suspicion regarding the paternity of the child, when there is no specific denial of paternity? … It has to be held further that when DNA test cannot be resorted to clear a suspicion regarding the paternity of the child, in the absence of specific denial of paternity of the child. the dismissal of the application put in by the petitioner to conduct DNA test with a view to clear his suspicion/doubt regarding the paternity of the child, can only be justified.”
The Bench said that only in rare and exceptional cases of deserving nature, DNA test or any other scientific test become indispensable to resolve the controversy.
Advocate I.S. Laila appeared on behalf of the petitioner.
In this case, the petitioner raised a contention before the Family Court that he married the respondent who was a person suffering from mental disease and, therefore, he had no occasion to have sexual intercourse with her. According to the petitioner, the petitioner was abroad for years after the marriage and the petitioner brought the respondent abroad twice. Thereafter, the respondent left the company of the petitioner due to mental problem.
As such the paternity of the petitioner was doubtful and, therefore, the petitioner sought DNA test to find out the paternity of the minor child. The respondent filed detailed objection mainly contending that out of the wedlock, the minor child was born and that she along with the petitioner resided in Oman where the child was born. The petition was filed by the petitioner who was aggrieved by the judgment of the Family Court.
The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “… the law emerges is that merely because parties have dispute about paternity, it does not mean that the court should direct DNA or such other test to resolve the controversy. In such circumstances, the parties should be directed to lead evidence to prove the dispute of factum of paternity and only when the court finds it impossible to draw an inference based on such an evidence or the controversy in issue cannot be resolved without DNA test, it may direct the DNA test and not otherwise.”
The Court said that the dismissal of the application put in by the petitioner to conduct DNA test with a view to clear his suspicion/doubt regarding the paternity of the child, can only be justified.
Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the petition.
Cause Title- Sujith Kumar S v. Vinaya V.S. (Neutral Citation: 2023:KER:55326)