Mumbai(dna): The Bombay high court has refused to direct a woman and her teenaged daughter to undergo DNA tests to prove parentage, observing that a child born during continuance of a valid marriage or even within a year after its dissolution is conclusive proof that it is legitimate.
Justice Sadhana Jadhav dismissed a petition filed by one Layyapa Patil, a resident of Sangli, seeking that his wife, Mirabai, and their 16-year-old daughter be directed to undergo DNA and blood tests to ascertain if he is the father.
The HC observed, "The birth of a child during continuance of a valid marriage or even within 280 days after its dissolution is conclusive proof that child was legitimate unless the husband and wife had no access to each other at any time when conception took place."
Patil had also sought that Mirabai's cousin, Ashok Godhe, be directed to undergo the tests alleging that his wife and Ashok had illicit relations and that the girl was his daughter.
Patil and Mirabai got married in June 1994. Patil works in the merchant navy and hence was on ship most of the time. However, between September 1996 and December 1996 he was living with his wife. A girl was born to Mirabai in June 1997.
Relations between Patil and Mirabai soured following which they decided to dissolve the marriage. However, when Mirabai sought maintenance for herself and their daughter, Patil refused and alleged that he is not the father to the girl.
Patil initially filed a suit before a civil court in Sangli, seeking a declaration that he is not the biological father. When the court rejected his plea, he approached the high court.
While rejecting his petition, justice Jadhav observed, "In the present case, there is no good ground to hold that the parties (Patil and Mirabai) had no access with each other, at least, till June 1997. It is pertinent to note that for the first time the said contention about questioning the paternity was raised only after filing of the maintenance petition by the wife."