Saturday 7 February 2015

Whether One can be forced to undergo second DNA test?

Court cannot compel a person to undergo a DNA test for the second time, the Madras High Court has said.
It made it clear that the first test could not be treated as doubtful or set aside, based on allegations against a person on whom the test proved negative. A direction for a second test could not be given since it would lead to unhealthy practice where parties repeatedly ask for sending samples till they got a favourable report. Different reports may also lead to confusion.
To avoid unnecessary doubts in the parties, it was necessary that blood samples should be taken in the presence of each other and sent to the laboratory. The entire process should be videographed at the expense of the person who was interested in video-recording.

Justice S.Vaidyanathan passed the order on a writ petition by a woman for a direction to the Madurai police authorities to conduct the DNA test again on one Veerakumaran. She alleged he was evading marrying her after they were in love with each other. She had a male baby by him.
On March 5, 2014, the III Additional District Judge, Madurai, had directed Veerakumaran to undergo the DNA test for deciding paternity. The examination proved negative.
In the petition, the woman said there were many defects in conducting the test. Blood samples were collected, not from Veerakumaran, but from a stranger, who accompanied him, that too in her absence.
The police submitted there were no such defects.
Mr.Justice Vaidyanathan said that in the present case, in order to prove his bona fide, the person himself offered to undergo the DNA test. Considering the facts and circumstances and the Supreme Court and High Court decisions, he was of the view that it was not appropriate to order a second DNA test.
When no reasonable defect was pointed out or any allegations of mala fide were made out against the expert who conducted the test, they could not be brushed aside merely based on the woman’s surmises. It was not the petitioner’s case that the report had been obtained by the expert’s influence. If at all the woman was aggrieved over the defects in collecting the blood samples and sending it to the laboratory, she should prove the same before seeking a second DNA test.
The Judge said the DNA test report was only a piece of evidence, of course a strong one, in determining the paternity. The report should be analysed along with the facts and other evidence adduced by the parties in support of the case. It was always open to them to raise objections regarding the test during the trial.
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