DNA Test Cannot Be Directed As A Matter Of Course When Such Direction May Encroach Persons' Privacy & Physical Autonomy: Jharkhand HC
The Jharkhand High Court has held that DNA Test cannot be directed as a matter of course particularly when a direction to that effect may encroach privacy and physical autonomy of a person.
The bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi observed that "…merely because something is permissible under the law, cannot be directed as a matter of course to be performed particularly when a direction to that effect may encroach privacy and physical autonomy of a person. Such direction would violate the privacy right of a person subjected to such test."
The Court was dealing with a plea seeking quashing of Order rejecting the plea filed by the rape accused for conducting his and child's DNA examination.
Advocate Bibhash Sinha appeared for the Petitioner-accused and Senior SC-I Ashok Kumar Yadav appeared for the State.
The counsel for the petitioner-accused submitted that in a mechanical way, charge-sheet has been submitted against the petitioner for an alleged offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as under Section 4/6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The petitioner-accused had filed a plea for his and child's DNA Test however the Special Judge, POCSO had rejected the plea.
Aggrieved, petitioner-accused approached High Court.
The Court observed that "For deciding the case under Section 376 of IPC, paternity of the child is not relevant as the same can be decided on oral evidence. Therefore, holding of DNA test will not be relevant to the consideration of the charge."
The Court relied upon the decision in Banarasi Dass v. Teeku Dutta where the Supreme Court held that DNA test is not to be directed as a matter of routine and only in deserving cases such a direction can be issued.
Thus the Court held that there was no illegality in the order impugned.
"In view of the above facts, reasons and analysis, the Court comes to a conclusion that there is no illegality in the impugned order. Hence, no relief can be extended to the petitioner. Accordingly, this petition stands dismissed.", the Court held.
Cause Title- Afan Ansari v. State of Jharkhand & Anr.
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