Court cannot direct DNA testing of rape survivor's child for determining paternity, says Allahabad HC

Lucknow, Dec 9 (PTI) The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday held that a rape survivor cannot be compelled to get DNA testing of her child done for determining paternity.
The Lucknow bench set aside an order of a special court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO court) which had directed the DNA test of the child on the plea of the minor accused in the rape case.
Justice Sangeeta Chandra passed the verdict, allowing the revision plea of the survivor’s mother.
In her order, Justice Chandra observed, “It is apparent that the POCSO judge misdirected his energies.”
“The question before the POCSO judge was to determine as to whether the charge sheeted accused committed rape on the survivor and not to determine who was the father of the baby born to the survivor after the incident,” she said.
The survivor’s mother had lodged an FIR with Kotwali police station in Sultanpur on December 17, 2017 that her minor daughter was raped. After a probe, the police filed a charge sheet against a minor for rape and also booked some other accused under the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act.
During the trial before Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), the minor accused moved an application seeking DNA test of the child born to the rape survivor, but the JJB rejected the plea on March 25 this year, saying it could be raised at defence stage only.
Against the JJB’s order, the minor accused filed an appeal before the POCSO court which allowed his plea on June 25 and directed a DNA test of the child.
The survivor’s mother approached the high court filing a revision petition against this order.
It was contended that the POCSO judge passed the order without examining the consequences, whereas it is mandatory in view of several apex court verdicts, the plea said.
Allowing the revision plea, the high court also restrained the JJB from entertaining any plea for DNA test of the survivor’s child to be raised by the minor accused at the defence stage.