SC says can’t force anyone for DNA test

The bench noted that in circumstances where other evidence is available to prove or dispute the relationship, the court should ordinarily refrain from ordering blood tests. “This is because such tests impinge upon the right of privacy of an individual and could also have major societal repercussions. Indian law leans towards legitimacy and frowns upon bastardy,” it said in its judgment. It further added that the presumption in law of legitimacy of a child cannot be lightly repelled.

DNA is unique to an individual (barring twins) and can be used to identify a person’s identity, trace familial linkages or even reveal sensitive health information. “The possibility of stigmatising a person as a bastard, the ignominy that attaches to an adult who, in the mature years of his life is shown to be not the biological son of his parents may not only be a heavy cross to bear but would also intrude upon his right of privacy,” the bench observed.

Against the backdrop of these observations, the top court set aside a high court judgment, directing a plaintiff in a suit to undergo DNA test.

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