In the matter of Gulafsa Begum Vs. State of U.P.; the Allahabad High Court on 3.12.2021 observed that a rape survivor cannot be forced to take a DNA test to determine her child’s paternity.
The victim, a 14-year-old girl, was allegedly raped and became pregnant as a result. Consequently a case was registered at the police station under Sections 376, 504, 506 IPC, and Section 3/4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (“POCSO Act”)
On getting the news of her daughter’s pregnancy, the victim’s mother had tried to get her married to the accused however the father of the accused had denied the proposal. Moreover, the accused was designated a juvenile during the trial, and the case was transferred from the Trial Court to the Sultanpur Juvenile Justice Board.
As a result, the accused filed an application with the Juvenile Justice Board to conduct a DNA test on the victim. The application for a DNA test was denied by the Juvenile Justice Board after reviewing all of the facts and circumstances as well as the evidence on file. The Board held that sending the victim child for DNA Test would further delay the Trial which under the provisions of Statute should be concluded as expeditiously as possible.
Following that, the accused filed a Criminal Appeal before the Additional Sessions Judge in Sultanpur, who granted the application for a DNA test, despite the Juvenile Justice Board’s decision.
Aggrieved by the order the victim’s mother filed a revision appeal against the Additional Sessions Judge.
Observations of High Court-
- The Hon’ble High Court found that the Additional Sessions Judge in Sultanpur had disregarded the provisions of Article 14–21 of the Indian Constitution in passing the impugned decision.
- The Court remarked that that there was no reason to subject the victim to a DNA test because the question was whether the rape had been committed, not whether the accused fathered the child.
- The Court allowed the Revision Petition and observed that-
“The order dated 25.06.2021 is set aside and the learned Trial Court order dated 25.03.2021 is affirmed subject to the modification that the Trial Court’s observation regarding such application being moved under Section 313 of the CrPC would be considered on its merits when it is taken up, shall also not be read against the revisionist that victim of rape can be compelled to undergo DNA test after such long time of the alleged incident.”
– Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – Child Safety at Work