SC asks judge to frame issues in paternity suit against Tiwari

SC asks judge to frame issues in paternity suit against Tiwari

SC asks judge to frame issues in paternity suit against Tiwari

N D Tiwari

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also made it clear that the issues be framed without being influenced by the observations made by the single judge and division benches of the Delhi High Court.

It also said that if an application is made for in-camera hearing, it may be considered by the trial judge.

During the hearing, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the senior Congress leader, vehemently opposed the idea of subjecting 84-year-old Tiwari to a DNA test.
He alleged that the law suit has been filed to malign and tarnish the image of Tiwari and for "cheap" media publicity.

However, P S Patwaria, counsel for Rohit Shekhar, who claims to be Tiwari's biological son, contended that the issue would be settled once the court permits the DNA test.

The Congress veteran had to resign as Andhra Pradesh Governor after he was purportedly shown in a compromising position with three women in a sting operation by a TV channel in December last year.

Tiwari had approached the apex court against the High Court decision of adjudicating the paternity suit.

Shekhar, grandson of a former Union minister, had filed the suit claiming he was born out of a relationship between his mother Ujjwala Sharma and Tiwari, a charge denied by the Congress leader.

Tiwari, in an affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court, had categorically refused to undergo the DNA test in the paternity row.

The High Court had also sought a "specific" response on each of the more than 100 photographs, placed before it, in which Tiwari is purportedly seen with Shekhar and his mother on various occasions since his birth.

In his 60-page affidavit filed before the High Court, Tiwari had alleged that "the present suit is the result of a deep-rooted criminal conspiracy to defame and tarnish his image and harm his reputation as a person and as a public figure."

"The plaintiff (Rohit) is not entitled to seek DNA test as a matter of right. The same is contrary not only to law but also to equity," he had said, adding "to say that he developed a liking for her(Ujjwala) and that after 8-10 years they entered into a relationship is scandalous and defamatory."

"The plaintiff (Rohit) is not his son. The question of acknowledging anything as alleged is denied. Every allegation/insinuation is denied," he had said. Tiwari also said that he was a devoted husband during that period.

Earlier, the High Court had dismissed the plea of Tiwari, who sought quashing of the petition, on the ground that it was filed 31 years after the petitioner was born in order to malign his character.

"Human relation cannot be treated in the same manner as commercial or civil transaction. An infidelity by a spouse is condoned by a subsequent conjugation," the court had said.

"We think that in the vicissitude of personal relations that is an untenable position to adopt. The court cannot delve into the mind of the plaintiff (Shekhar) in order to ascertain the time at which he felt that he had no alternative but to go to the extreme of moving the court, which is always a point of no return," the court had said.

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