New Delhi: The formalities as to how and where veteran Congress leader ND Tiwari’s blood sample will be taken for his DNA test on a paternity suit would be determined on February 19, the Delhi High Court decided on Tuesday.
The High Court’s Joint Registrar Deepak Garg said he would decide on various formalities on taking Tiwari’s blood sample in presence of his counsel and those of Delhi youth Rohit Shekhar, who claims to be his biological son, born out of the leader’s relationship with his mother Ujjawala Sharama.
A single-judge bench of the High Court had on December 23 asked the 85-year-old leader to undergo a DNA test on a paternity suit filed by Shekhar.
On Tiwari’s appeal, challenging the single-judge bench’s order, a division bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and Siddharth Mridul had reserved its order yesterday, while also turning down his plea to suspend the single-judge bench’s order at least for the time being.
Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for Tiwari, had sought interim stay on the December 23 order, arguing that “there was no urgency as the petitioner (Rohit) has not sought any pecuniary relief”.
“Can your client (Tiwari) file an affidavit that he would remain alive for next ten years?” the bench had asked him turning down the plea.
Bhushan had also contended that Tiwari cannot be compelled by the court to give his blood sample and there were various Supreme Court judgements on the issue.
Bhushan had contended that the single-judge order asking Tiwari to undergo the test was erroneous as a legal and valid marriage was subsisting between Ujjwala and Bimal Prasad Sharma, the legitimate father of Rohit.
Moreover, Ujjwala and Bimal had access to each other and there was conclusive proof that Rohit was their legitimate child, he said.
He also argued that the words paternity and legitimacy were interchangeable and no distinction can be drawn between them.
Rohit’s counsel Sudhir Nandrajog, however, opposed Tiwari’s plea saying paternity and legitimacy were two distinct issues and the single judge had rightly asked him to undergo the test.
The judge had asked Tiwari to undergo the DNA test saying the wider interest of a person of not being declared an illegitimate child has to be kept in mind.
Tiwari, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand who has held key ministerial portfolios at the Centre, was forced to resign as Andhra Pradesh Governor in 2009 amid allegations of sexual misconduct against him following the airing of a sting operation in news channels.