In a change from the recognised Indian legal convention that prioritised a child’s legitimacy in a marriage, over a divorce being sought on the ground of infidelity by a partner, its Supreme Court has ruled that a DNA test can be ordered by courts as a “legitimate and scientifically perfect” tool to establish adultery in divorce cases.
It is not just Indian fathers who are keen to challenge the paternity of their children. In February John Bolch wrote about a survey which reported that as many as one in every ten fathers in Britain have suspicions about the paternity of their children.
The Court in New Delhi upheld an order directing the DNA test of child on a plea of a husband making allegations of infidelity against his wife, saying that the child had been conceived between his wife and another man.
The Court also stated that if such a test was resisted then an adverse inference could legitimately be drawn against the person opposing it: “The respondent feels that it is only possible for him to substantiate the allegations levelled by him (of wife’s infidelity) through a DNA test. We agree with him. In our view, but for the DNA test, it would be impossible for the husband to establish and confirm the assertions made in the pleadings.
“DNA testing is the most legitimate and scientifically perfect means, which the husband could use, to establish his assertion of infidelity. This should simultaneously be taken as the most authentic, rightful and correct means also with the wife, for her to rebut the assertions made by the husband, and to establish that she had not been unfaithful, adulterous or disloyal. If the appellant-wife is right, she shall be proved to be so,” it said.
The Indian Express reported that DNA tests are now often ordered by courts for determination of paternity.
However as I wrote last year paternity tests are not automatically granted by the courts. The case of the father of Latvian origin being one such case in point.
Photo of DNA test by micahb37 via Flickr