The Delhi high court on Monday rejected veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari's plea for deferring his cross-examination in a paternity suit on medical grounds, saying he is "publicly active".
The court directed him to travel to Delhi and depose before the local commissioner on Tuesday, as scheduled.
Justice Vipin Sanghi, who rejected 88-year-old Tiwari's application seeking postponement of his cross-examination for eight weeks, said, "It appears that the last opportunity granted to Tiwari was exploited and abused by him by moving this application for adjournment."
Saying that the former Andhra Pradesh governor is "pretty active at his age and there is no medical emergency”, the court directed him to travel to Delhi and depose before the local commissioner on Tuesday on the scheduled time, failing which "his right to lead evidence will be concluded”.
The court rejected Tiwari's argument that he has been medically advised to avoid exertion and travel.
"In case he does not turn up tomorrow (Tuesday), his right to lead evidence will be concluded," the judge said.
The court accepted the argument of advocate Vedant Verma, appearing for 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar who claims to be the biological son of the Congress leader, that Tiwari has been actively attending public functions, but is avoiding the court appearance.
Verma, referring to Tiwari's medical certificate issued on September 24 as well as news reports of that day, argued that on that particular day the politician was found dancing with a young woman at a public function.
"It seems that Tiwari is publicly active. He even sat on a 'dharna'... he was not able to dispute the same and is in a position to travel to Delhi and depose before the local commissioner," the court said.