The Allahabad High Court has observed that a DNA test to establish a child’s paternity is the “most legitimate and scientific means” that can be used by a man to assert claims of his wife’s infidelity, Live Law reported on Monday. The court also said that the test is also the wife’s “most authentic” way to “establish that she had not been unfaithful, adulterous or disloyal.”
The court was hearing a plea where the petitioner had challenged an order passed by a family court in Hamirpur on September 22, 2018.
The petitioner’s husband had given a customary divorce to his wife on June 25, 2014, citing infidelity, and sought the DNA test of a male child born to his wife on January 26, 2016, in her paternal house, according to Live Law.
The wife in turn objected to the application filed by the husband seeking a DNA test on the ground that no legal provision was mentioned in the application. She also denied the husband’s claim that the there was no cohabitation between the couple since January 15, 2013. On the contrary, she accused the husband of torturing her and driving her out of their home when she was pregnant.
The matter before the Allahabad High Court was whether a husband, in a divorce petition, can direct the wife to undergo a DNA test or refuse to undergo the test himself.
Further, the court was considering that if the wife decided to undergo the DNA test, whether its result would be considered as confirmation of the husband’s accusation of adultery and whether the court would accept the findings as expert evidence or conclusive evidence.
Allahabad HC’s observations
The High Court rejected the woman’s plea, citing a relevant order passed by the Calcutta High Court, and subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court in Dipanwita Roy vs Ronobroto Roy in 2015, reported Live Law.
In this case, a family court had dismissed the husband’s plea for a DNA test in his divorce petition. However, the Calcutta High Court overturned the decision. This was upheld by the top court too, when the wife challenged the High Court’s decision.