Science For Everyone: DNA IV

Banarsi Dass v. Teeku Dutta, (2005) 4 SCC 449 had declared, DNA test is not to be directed as a matter of routine but only in deserving cases. Bhabani Prasad Jena v. Convenor Secretary, Orissa SCW, (2010) 8 SCC 633 opined, discretion of Court must be exercised after balancing interests of parties and whether a DNA test satisfies a test of ‘eminent need’. Bhabani Prasad Jena was considered and approved in Dipanwita Roy v. Ronobroto Roy, (2015) 1 SCC 365.

In circumstances where other evidence is available to prove or dispute, Court should ordinarily refrain from ordering blood tests… because such tests impinge upon right of privacy and could also have major societal repercussions.

Indian law leans towards legitimacy and frowns upon bastardy. Possibility of stigmatizing a person as a bastard would also intrude upon his right of privacy. Whether a person can be compelled to provide a sample for DNA in such matters can be answered, considering K.S Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2019) 1 SCC 1.

Court should examine proportionality of legitimate aims being pursued. Having answered, an additional issue to be resolved is whether refusal to undergo DNA testing amounts to ‘other evidence’ or in other words, can an adverse inference be drawn [Sharda vs. Dharmpal, (2003) 4 SCC 493].

 Hon’ble Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Ashok Kumar v. Raj Gupta, [Civil Appeal No. 6153 of 2021].