Kochi: The Kerala High Court has held that courts should not direct DNA tests to determine the paternity of a child in every case where the paternity is disputed.
It pointed out that a mere dispute on the paternity of a child is not enough to warrant an order to conduct a DNA test, and there has to be a “specific denial of paternity”.
Justice A. Badharudeen held that it is only in rare and exceptional cases of deserving nature where such tests are indispensable to resolve the controversy, that DNA tests or other scientific tests can be ordered for.
“Only when the court finds it impossible to draw an inference based on such evidence or the controversy in issue cannot be resolved without DNA test, it may direct the DNA test and not otherwise. To put it differently, only in rare and exceptional cases of deserving nature, DNA test or any other scientific test become indispensable to resolve the controversy,” the Court order said.
The ruling came while dismissing a man’s appeal against a family court’s decision to reject his plea for a paternity test. The man disputed his estranged wife’s claim that he was the father of her child. The wife objected to the man’s plea and said that he was disputing the child’s paternity only to avoid paying maintenance. The High Court ultimately dismissed the man’s petition and upheld the family court order.