A man cannot run away from paying maintenance to an illegitimate of his even on entering a settlement deed to part away with the child's mother before the birth of progeny, a Delhi court has held.
The court declined the man's claim that he was free from any liability as there was a compromise deed between him and his child's mother that she will not rake up any issue arising out of their relationship on receiving Rs 50,000 as a onetime settlement amount.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj did not find any error with the ruling of the magisterial court which had ordered Rs 2,000 as monthly maintenance to the child, on the ground that "the provisions of section 125 CrPC, mandate the maintenance for the legitimate children as well as illegitimate children".
The session’s judge also noted that since the compromise deed was disputed by the woman and is a matter of evidence to arrive at its authenticity, the minor cannot be deprived of his rights at this stage.
The court passed the order after perusing entire documents including the child's birth certificate in which the man was named as his father.
"The admitted facts are that mother of respondent (minor) had physical relations with the petitioner (man). His name is written as the father of the child in birth certificate. He entered into a compromise with the mother of the child and gave her Rs 50,000.
All these facts suggest that respondent is in fact illegitimate child of the man.
"During the course of arguments, the man offered to get the DNA test of the child conducted, which in any case is a matter of trial. At the prima facie stage, three facts are sufficient to conclude that the child in all probabilities was born out of physical relations between his mother and the man," the judge said.
The judge further said, "This document has been filed by the man and is binding on him, however, the mother of the child has not admitted this document as yet and therefore, it cannot be read against the rights of the child till the same is proved in evidence like any other document.
"In any case it is also a matter of evidence whether the compromise was arrived at out of free will or not and since the rights of minor are involved this document cannot be accepted at prima facie stage to deprive the minor of his rights of maintenance."