Punjab and Haryana HC rules against paternity test demand from live-in partner’s daughter - Hindustan Times
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Punjab and Haryana HC rules against paternity test demand from live-in partner’s daughter

By, Chandigarh
Jun 10, 2023 03:52 AM IST

The court was hearing a plea from a Mansa man, who had challenged a family court order, which had allowed application of his live-in partner’s daughter for a DNA test of him, in a suit filed by her seeking declaration as his daughter.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled against DNA test demand from a Mansa girl, who had demanded the same in order to prove paternity from her mother’s live-in partner.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled against DNA test demand from a Mansa girl, who had demanded the same in order to prove paternity from her mother’s live-in partner. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled against DNA test demand from a Mansa girl, who had demanded the same in order to prove paternity from her mother’s live-in partner. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“The burden lies on the litigating party to prove his or her case by adducing evidence in support of his or her plea and a party cannot be compelled to prove the case in the manner as suggested by the contesting party. A DNA test cannot be ordered so as to lead to a roving inquiry,” the bench of justice Alka Sarin observed.

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The court was hearing a plea from a Mansa man, who had challenged a family court order, which had allowed application of his live-in partner’s daughter for a DNA test of him, in a suit filed by her seeking declaration as his daughter.

A family court had ordered for the same in December 2022. It was this order that he had challenged in high court submitting that despite the entire evidence having been led, not a single document has been filed in evidence which would even remotely show the girl being his biological daughter. It was further argued that a person cannot be compelled to undergo a DNA test.

The girl, on the other hand, had argued that she was his daughter and no prejudice would be caused in case the DNA test is carried out to prove her parentage and rather the said test would enable the trial court to decide the suit properly.

The court observed that courts in India cannot order DNA test as a matter of course. In the present case, the parties have admittedly already led their evidence in support of their respective stands as taken in the court. The “petitioner father” cannot be compelled to adduce evidence in support of the case set up by the girl, it said adding that the girl has failed to make out a strong prima facie case for ordering the DNA test.

The court took note of SC judgments wherein it was held the court should order a DNA test if the applicant has a strong prima facie case and there is sufficient material before the court. The court should therefore examine the proportionality of the legitimate aims being pursued i.e. whether the same are not arbitrary or discriminatory whether they may have an adverse impact on the person and that they justify the encroachment upon the privacy and personal autonomy of the person, being subjected to the DNA test, it had added.

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