Delhi HC Rejects Husband’s Plea for Paternity Test emphasizing adulterous relationship can be examined without subjecting child to test

LI Network

Published on: February 3, 2024 at 11:20 IST

The Delhi High Court has rejected a husband’s plea to conduct a paternity test on his wife and their minor child, emphasizing that the issue of whether the wife had an adulterous relationship can be examined without subjecting the child to such a test.

The husband had applied to the family court requesting directions for his wife and their minor child to provide blood samples for a paternity test, which was denied by the court. The husband’s objective was to establish his wife’s alleged adulterous behavior.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Amit Bansal stated, “The appellant/husband cannot indirectly affect the interests of the child, who is not a party to the proceedings. The Family Court must consider the evidence presented by both parties to determine whether the respondent/wife engaged in consensual sexual relations with someone other than the appellant/husband. This can be investigated without subjecting the child to a paternity test.”

The husband had initially filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) of The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA), to which the wife responded with a petition under The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act).

Subsequently, the husband sought to amend the divorce petition to include paragraphs asserting that he was suffering from azoospermia, implying that the child born during their marriage was not his biological offspring.

The Court observed that unless paternity itself was contested in the dispute between the parties, the child’s legitimacy could not be questioned merely based on the timing of their birth during a valid marriage.

Moreover, the Court noted that the husband had not raised any doubts about the child’s paternity until he sought amendments to the divorce proceedings.

Consequently, the High Court dismissed the appeal, reaffirming that the paternity issue could be addressed within the existing legal framework without involving the child in a paternity test.

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