The Supreme Court on August 5, 2019, in the case of Kathi David Raju v. The State of Andhra Pradesh & Anr
has observed that DNA test cannot be ordered without adequate satisfaction regarding the need for this test.
A Bench comprising of JusticesAshok Bhushan
and Navin Sinha
while hearing an appeal arising against the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court observed that "It (DNA Test) is a serious matter which should not be lightly to be resorted to without there being appropriate satisfaction for the requirement of such test."
The appellant in the case was accused under Sections 465, 468, 471
of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
. The allegation against him was that he obtained a fake caste certificate of the caste ‘Yanadi’ whereas he belonged to ‘Telanga’ caste. The Magistrate allowed an application seeking a DNA test of the accused, his mother two brothers. When the matter appeared before the Andhra Pradesh High Court, it refused to quash the order.
Before the Apex Court, the appellant contended that the Investigation Authorities have not completed the investigation and as roving and fishing enquiry, they cannot be permitted to conduct DNA test. In this regard, the Bench observed: “There can be no dispute to the right of police authorities to seek permission of the Court for conducting DNA test in an appropriate case. In the present case, FIR alleges obtaining false caste certificate by the appellant by changing his name and parentage. The order impugned itself notices that investigation is not yet completed and material evidence are yet to be collected. The police authorities without being satisfied on material collected or conducting substantial investigation have requested for DNA test which is nothing but a step towards roving and fishing enquiry on a person, his mother and brothers. It is a serious matter which should not be lightly to be resorted to without there being appropriate satisfaction for requirement of such test.”
The Bench observed that, though Section 53
of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
, empowers the police authorities to request a medical practitioner to conduct examination of a person, it cannot be sought without carrying out any substantial investigation. The Bench said: "The police authorities had jumped on the conclusion that DNA test should be obtained. It was too early to request for conduct of DNA test without carrying out substantial investigation by the police authorities."
The Bench thus found that the order of the Magistrate was unsustainable and the decision of the High Court upholding the same was erroneous. It, therefore, allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment passed by the High Court. [Read Judgment]