DNA technology has been used as a modern method by investigating agencies to investigate crime. There are many breakthroughs in forensic science such as Fingerprint Profiling of the accused to ascertain the various angles through which sufficient and cogent evidence will be collected to prove the guilt of the accused.
The Supreme court in a recent judgment has held that to ascertain the paternity of a child in a matrimonial case. The court should allow the DNA test only in exceptional circumstances. A Division bench led by justice BV Nagarathna and V Rama Subramanian held that the right of children not to have their legitimacy questioned unnecessarily is an essential attribute of their right to privacy.
In the year of 1985 Dr Alec Jeffery professor at the University of Leicester, England first time assisted the investigating agency in identifying the suspect in a case of rape and homicide.
Jeffery,s first DNA proposed theory was applied in Lynda Mann’s Case –
Where a 15-year-old girl was raped and murdered. Genetic Fingerprinting technology was applied to collect the sample of the accused and in 1987 he was the first murderer convicted by DNA testing. This incident led to an exploration of DNA technology and its application in the United States. But apart from criminal investigation, DNA technology has been used to determine the parentage of a child on many occasions in the direction of the court.
There is statutory backing under section 112 of evidence that any person born during the persistence of valid marriage between his/her mother and any person or within 280 days after its dissolution the mother remained unmarried will be valid proof that he/she is the legitimate child of that man.
A person can demand DNA testing if he proves that there is “Paternity Fraud” that has been done against him.
In the case of Goutam Kundu vs the State of West Bengal, the court mentioned that the Husband in order to avoid the payment of maintenance under section 125 of the code criminal procedure to his wife. The husband can not demand a DNA test of the child. Application of blood tests on frivolous grounds should be avoided.
In Sharda vs. Dharmpal, the court held that a matrimonial court has the power to direct a person to undergo medical tests and such a direction would not amount to a violation of the personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.