Justice Sadhana S. Jadhav of the Bombay High Court has held that, “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 parties to marriage had no access to each other at any time when conception took place.”
The Court was hearing a Petition filed against an order passed by the Joint Civil Judge (Senior Division), Sangli.
It was prayed that the plaintiff is not the girl’s biological father and that the cases were filed against the plaintiff only to extort money. The Plaintiff had hence demanded that the girl, his mother and one Mr. Ashok Mhallppa be directed to undergo DNA test.
The plaintiff, who was employed in a commercial ship, married Seema in 1994. He claimed he was not in India for various periods between 1996 and 1997. His daughter was born in 1997. Seema filed a cruelty case against Shinde in 2000, but he was acquitted. She also filed an application seeking maintenance for her and the couple's daughter. He had then claimed that Mr. Mhallppa was the girl’s biological father. He had claimed that his wife and Mr. Mhallppa had illicit relationships.
The Court was however of the opinion that “the question of birth of child due to adulterous behavior is nothing but void, vague and baseless allegation.”
While dismissing the petition, the Court took into account that fact that there is no good ground to hold that the parties had no access with each other, at least, till June 1997. It was further noted that the said contention about questioning the paternity was raised only after filing of the maintenance petition.
Read the Judgment here.