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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 July 2024 5.26 PM IST

Paternity cannot be denied once acknowledged; petition of AJ Stephen challenging family court verdict rejected by High Court 

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KOCHI: The High Court said that the paternity of a child cannot be denied later after it is acknowledged. When the child is denied paternity after convincing it through behavior, the psychological trauma the child goes through is extreme. A division bench comprising Justice V Raja Vijayaraghavan and Justice MP Manoj said that the long accepted parentage cannot be questioned before the Court and the legal right of the child to protect his/her identity and private information must be respected.

The petition filed by AJ Stephen, a native of Kannur, challenging the verdict of the family court was rejected. Stephen wanted a DNA test to confirm his ten-year-old daughter's paternity. However, the prosecution asserted that the complainant was the real accused. A case was registered in 2014 that Stephen raped the child's mother several times and made her pregnant while she was a nursery teacher at an English medium school in Andhra Pradesh.

The woman married another person but her husband abandoned her after finding out that she was five and a half months pregnant. Later, the woman filed a rape case against Stephen, but the case was withdrawn after he agreed to settle during the trial. Later, the woman approached the family court demanding alimony from the accused and a DNA test to prove paternity. In 2016, an order was passed in favor of the child after the accused failed to appear.

He approached the court to review the order but he did not agree to the condition of depositing Rs.10,000. The court directed him to pay Rs 5000 as maintenance to the child. The court also found the arguments of the child's mother to be true. He approached the family court on October 1, 2022 with the demand to prove paternity. Accusing the defendant of hiding many things, the court rejected the request.

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