DNA test legitimate method to determine infidelity and adultery

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The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday waved the green flag at using DNA test as a “legitimate and scientifically perfect” tool for determining infidelity and adultery in future divorce cases.

This new ruling by the apex court is indeed a significant switch from the conventional legal premise that prioritized a child’s legitimacy in a marriage over a divorce being demanded on the ground of infidelity.

“DNA testing is the most legitimate and scientifically perfect means, which the husband could use, to establish his assertion of infidelity. This should simultaneously be taken as the most authentic, rightful and correct means also with the wife, for her to rebut the assertions made by the husband, and to establish that she had not been unfaithful, adulterous or disloyal. If the wife is right, she shall be proved to be so,” said a bench comprising Justices R K Agrawal and J S Khehar.

The court delivered this verdict while upholding a lower court order allowing a man’s appeal to have a DNA test done on a child born to his wife. The lower court verdict stated that without approving a DNA test, it was practically impossible to determine the validity of the charges of adultery brought by him against his wife.

Prior to this, DNA tests were ordered by the court to determine paternity of a child. However, with this new ruling by the SC, courts will now be able to order DNA tests to verify or establish adultery in divorce cases.

It is worth mentioning here that in a 2001 verdict on a similar case, the SC stated that: ““The result of a genuine DNA test is said to be scientifically accurate. But even that is not enough to escape from the conclusiveness of Section 112 of the Act, e.g, if a husband and wife were living together during the time of conception but the DNA test revealed that the child was not born to the husband, the conclusiveness in law would remain unrebuttable.”