On 20th July 2004 the High Court of Odisha Passed a Judgement with regard to whether a direction can be issued for conducting DNA test and blood grouping test for determination of paternity of children? And the judgement was given by A Patnaik and M Das.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
In Thogorani Alias K. Damayanti vs State Of Orissa And Ors. 2004 (II) OLR 183, the Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice A. K. Patnaik (as his Lordship then was) and Hon’ble Justice M. M. Das considered whether a direction can be issued for conducting DNA test and blood grouping test for determination of paternity of children. The aforementioned judgement considered Articles 20(3) and 21 of the Indian Constitution in determining whether such direction violates the right to privacy derived from Article 21.
This Court held that right was not absolute and could be lawfully limited for the prevention of crime, disorder, or the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of others’ rights and freedoms. While issuing the DNA test order, the Court established certain principles. According to the ruling, before ordering a DNA test, the Court must weigh the public interest against the rights guaranteed by Articles 20(3) and 21 of the Constitution. In balancing interests, the following factors were deemed relevant: I the extent to which the accused may have participated in the commission of the crime; (ii) the gravity of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission; (iii) the accused’s age, physical and mental health, to the extent that they are known; (iv) whether there is a less intrusive and practical way of collecting evidence tending to confirm or disprove the accused’s involvement in the crime; and (v) the reasons, if any, for the accused’s refusal to consent.
Finally, it was determined that the direction for the conduct of the DNA test would not violate any rights under Article 20 (3) of the Constitution.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY AMRIT BEHERA.