Paternity suit: Tiwari fails to appear despite HC direction

Paternity suit: Tiwari fails to appear despite HC direction

The Delhi High Court today "closed" Congress leader N D Tiwari's right to lead evidence in a paternity suit against him after he failed to appear before the local commissioner for cross examination in the case despite its direction.

Retired Additional District Judge S M Chopra, appointed as local commissioner by high court for recording of evidence on day-to-day basis in the paternity suit, referred to the court's direction to Tiwari to appear before him and said, "In view of the order of high court ... the evidence of Defendant 1 (Tiwari) stands closed."

The local commissioner remanded the matter back to Justice Vipin Sanghi before whom the suit is pending.

Appearing for Tiwari, his counsel Bahar-U-Barqi told the commissioner that his client "is not well and at present he is at Lucknow and unable to travel to Delhi".

Justice Sanghi had yesterday directed that "In case he (Tiwari) does not turn up tomorrow (October 8) his right to lead evidence will be concluded."

Meanwhile, 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar, who claims to be Tiwari's biological son, filed a caveat through advocate Vedanta Varma in the court, saying that in case Tiwari moves against Justice Sanghi's order, the court should not pass any interim order without hearing him (Shekhar).

The high court had yesterday rejected Tiwari's plea for deferring his cross-examination in a paternity suit on medical grounds, saying he is "publicly active" and directed him to depose here tomorrow as scheduled.

The court rejected 88-year-old Tiwari's application for postponement of his cross-examination for eight weeks, saying "it appears that the last opportunity granted to Tiwari was exploited and abused by him by moving this application for adjournment."
The court had also noted that the former chief minister is "pretty active at his age and there is no medical emergency", and directed him to travel to Delhi and depose before the local commissioner on the scheduled time.

In his application, Tiwari had sought postponement of his questioning, saying he will be unable to travel from Lucknow to Delhi on account of his ongoing treatment for a heart ailment.

The High Court had on September 18 rejected Tiwari's plea to hold his cross examination at a place other than the court complex.

It had, however, given Tiwari a last opportunity to lead evidence in the case by filing an affidavit within a week's time.

While giving last opportunity to him, the High Court had also directed him to appear on October 8 before local commissioner, S M Chopra.

Earlier, the local commissioner had barred Tiwari from leading any evidence in favour of his claim that he did not father Shekhar.

The leader has so far refused to settle the lawsuit out of court through mediation, saying there is a possibility that the medical evidence is not 100 per cent accurate.
The High Court had on July 27 last year read out the DNA report in the case according to which Tiwari was shown as Shekhar's biological father.

Tiwari had given blood sample for the DNA test on May 29 last year at his residence in Dehradun following the apex court's order in the case, after repeatedly contesting against undergoing the test on various grounds.

Tiwari's pleas had been objected to by Rohit who had filed the paternity suit in 2008, claiming that the veteran Congress leader is his biological father. Tiwari had refuted his claim.

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