9 Dec 2022 12:00 PM GMT
The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday upheld an order of a Family Court which directed the petitioner to pay maintenance to his alleged son. The child's mother had also deposed that the child was born out of her physical relationship with the petitioner, who once had kept her as his 'mistress'. While dismissing the revision petition, a Single Judge Bench of Justice...
The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday upheld an order of a Family Court which directed the petitioner to pay maintenance to his alleged son. The child's mother had also deposed that the child was born out of her physical relationship with the petitioner, who once had kept her as his 'mistress'.
While dismissing the revision petition, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Satyen Vaidya observed,
"The statement of mother of the respondent regarding the paternity of respondent cannot be brushed aside easily. It is hard to believe that a female would name any unknown person to be the father of her son. Contest by petitioner to the prayer for DNA test strengthens the claim of the respondent."
The respondent sought maintenance from the petitioner claiming himself to be his son. He alleged that he was born out of relationship that once existed between the petitioner and his mother. The mother of the respondent also deposed that she had fallen in love with the petitioner, who had kept her as a mistress. She further stated, on oath, that the petitioner had maintained physical relation with her, as a result of which she conceived and ultimately delivered a baby boy i.e. the respondent.
On the other hand, the petitioner denied all such allegations. He, besides examining himself, also examined his wife to buttress his contention.
During the course of proceedings before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Chamba, an application was moved on behalf of the respondent for conducting the DNA test in order to establish paternity. However, the petitioner opposed such prayer.
The Principal Judge, Family Court, Chamba after analysing the evidence held that since there was sufficient proof regarding paternity of the respondent on record, there was no need to conduct the DNA test of the respondent. He came to the conclusion that respondent had been able to establish his case. The version put forward by the mother of respondent was believed by the Court and it ordered maintenance to the tune of Rs. 2,500/- per month in favour of the respondent.
The petitioner, being aggrieved by such order, challenged it on the ground that he has been fastened with the liability to pay maintenance to the respondent without there being any evidence on record to prove such entitlement.
Mr. Vinod Chauhan, counsel for the petitioner contended that he (the petitioner) was not proved to be father of the respondent and hence, the impugned order was unsustainable. He submitted that the respondent was neither his legitimate nor illegitimate son.
After hearing both the side and perusing the evidence available on record, the Court held that the statement of mother of the respondent regarding the paternity cannot be ignored as it is "hard to believe" that a woman would name any unknown person to be the father of her son. Further it held that the reluctance shown by the petitioner to undergo DNA test is sufficient to draw adverse inference against him. Accordingly, it observed,
"It would have been more appropriate for petitioner to agree for DNA test, as his fidelity towards his wife and sincerity towards his children was at stake. Keeping in view the dependability of DNA test, petitioner could have availed the opportunity to prove the allegation against him wrong. On the other hand, respondent and for that matter his mother had stepped forward with a prayer for conduct of DNA test. The circumstance noticed above, is sufficient to draw adverse inference against the petitioner."
Accordingly, the criminal revision petition was set aside confirming the order made by the Court below.
Case Title: Kuldeep v. Kartik
Case No.: Criminal Revision No. 256 of 2022
Order Dated: 8th December 2022
Coram: Satyen Vaidya, J.
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr. Vinod Chauhan, Advocate
Counsel for the Respondent: Mr. Surender Sharma, Advocate
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (HP) 41
Click Here To Read/Download Order