No DNA test if there is no proof of adultery: Supreme Court

Source: TOI

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has said that DNA tests cannot be ordered to establish the legitimacy of a child born during the subsistence of a marriage if there is no primary evidence of adultery.

What was the case?
  • A man has petitioned the court to allow a DNA test of his child in a matrimonial dispute with his wife.
What did the Supreme Court say?
  • The Court referred to Section 112 of the Indian Evidence Act which talks about the presumption of the legitimacy of a child.
  • The Apex Court said that the DNA test could not be straight away ordered to prove adultery.
  • There must be some primary evidence to prove the adultery allegation and only then the court can consider going for the scientific evidence of DNA testing.

Note: The act of adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s current spouse or partner.

Section 497 of IPC:
  • Section 497 of IPC says it is a punishable offense for a man to have sexual intercourse with a married woman without the consent of her husband. The man committing such an offence can be imprisoned for five years or more and can also be asked to pay a fine.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code. The court said that the section was unconstitutional and is against Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and Article 14 (Right to equality).

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