The Himachal Pradesh High Court, Shimla while upholding an order of the Family Court that directed the petitioner to pay maintenance to his alleged son stated that it is hard to believe that a female would name any unknown person to be the father of her son.

A Single Bench of Justice Satyen Vaidya dismissed the petition filed by the petitioner and observed –

"The statement of mother of the respondent regarding the paternity of respondent cannot be brushed aside easily. It is hard to believe that a female would name any unknown person to be the father of her son. Contest by petitioner to the prayer for DNA test strengthens the claim of the respondent. It would have been more appropriate for petitioner to agree for DNA test, as his fidelity towards his wife and sincerity towards his children was at stake. Keeping in view the dependability of DNA test, petitioner could have availed the opportunity to prove the allegation against him wrong. On the other hand, respondent and for that matter his mother had stepped forward with a prayer for conduct of DNA test. The circumstance noticed above, is sufficient to draw adverse inference against the petitioner."

The Bench further held that the view taken by the Principal Judge of the Family Court cannot be perverse and the quantum of maintenance also cannot be said to be excessive based on the material on record.

Advocate Vinod Chouhan appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Surendra Sharma represented the respondent.

The present matter has arisen from the case in which the respondent sought maintenance from the petitioner claiming himself to be his son. It was alleged that he was born out of a relationship that once existed between the petitioner and the mother of the respondent. However, the petitioner denied such allegations. The matter was before the Family Court, Chamba, and the Principle Judge after recording the evidence of the parties held that the respondent is entitled to maintenance of Rs. 2,500/- per month from the petitioner.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that the petitioner was not proven to be the father of the respondent and hence, the impugned order is not sustainable. The mother of the respondent however in the witness box stated that she fell in love with the petitioner who kept her as a mistress. She further alleged that the petitioner had maintained a physical relationship with her as a result of which she gave birth to a baby boy. During the proceedings before the Family Court, an application was moved by the respondent for conducting the DNA test in order to establish his paternity. The petitioner opposed such prayer by filing a response. However, the Family Court held that since there was sufficient proof regarding the paternity of the respondent on record, there was no need to conduct the DNA test of the respondent. The petitioner being aggrieved with the order passed by the Family Court moved to the High Court.

The High Court after hearing both parties said, "Even otherwise, the findings recorded by learned Principle Judge, Family Court, Chamba, are borne from the available records. The view taken by learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Chamba, cannot be said to be perverse, rather, it is a possible view based on the material on record. The quantum of maintenance also cannot be said to be excessive on the basis of material on record."

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the petition and upheld the order passed by the Family Court.

Cause Title – Kuldeep v. Kartik

Click here to read/download the Order