New Delhi: In a jolt to leader N D Tiwari, the Delhi High Court today dismissed his plea to "explore" the possibilities of an "amicable" out-of-court settlement of the 2008 paternity suit filed by a youth seeking to declare the Congress veteran as his biological father.
"With whom you (Tiwari) want to mediate? They should also be ready and agreeable to consider your offer," Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said after 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar and his 67-year-old mother Ujjwala Sharma informed that they do not consent to the offer and would like to contest it.
"I may seek fresh instruction if Mr. Tiwari is willing to suffer a declaration decree that he is the biological father of my client," the lawyer for Rohit said.
The court took note of the submissions and fixed the case in the list of final hearing on April 21.
However, the counsel for 89-year-old Tiwari reiterated that he was still willing to go for the mediation.
The Congress leader had so far refused to settle the case out of court through mediation, saying there is a possibility that the medical evidence is not 100 per cent accurate.
Rohit had filed the paternity suit in 2008 seeking a declaration that the Congress leader is his biological father.
Tiwari, however, has been refuting the claim and filed various pleas against interim orders in the larger High Court benches and in the Supreme Court.
The court had on February 20 closed the right of Tiwari to testify in the case after he did not avail the last opportunity to record evidence.
Prior to this, the leader had moved the fresh plea saying "notwithstanding the merit of the case of either of the parties, he wanted an amicable and 'out-of-court' settlement of the case with the help of mediation."
Earlier, the court had imposed a cost of Rs 2.5 lakh on Tiwari for his failure to appear for cross-examination and granted him the last opportunity to record evidence in the paternity suit.
The high court had on September 18 last year rejected Tiwari's plea to hold his cross-examination outside the High Court premises either at Nehru Bal Bhawan or UP Sadan or Jawahar Lal Nehru National Youth Centre.