Veteran Congress leader N D Tiwari has moved the Delhi high court to "explore" the possibilities of an "amicable" out-of-court settlement of the 2008 paternity suit filed by a man seeking to declare him as his biological father.
The fresh plea by the 89-year-old Congress leader, ten days before the final hearing in the case, said that 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.
"The applicant respectfully submits that he has no intention to delay the proceedings or further final hearing in the matter. The mediation efforts can be explored even before February 28, 2014 when the matter is fixed for final hearing," the plea said.
"Refer the present matter for mediation and let the applicant explore possibilities for amicable settlement, in the interest of justice," it said.
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 a last opportunity to record evidence in the paternity suit.
Tiwari, 89, who was asked to pay a penalty of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rohit for the grant of last opportunity of testifying in the case, expressed his inability to pay the fine.
The bench had asked the politician to remain present on February 20 before the local commissioner appointed by it to record his evidence.
It had rejected the plea that Tiwari, who has age-related health issues, be allowed to be cross-examined outside the high court premises, preferably at the Uttarakhand Sadan in Delhi.
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.
Prior to the development, the local commissioner had also barred Tiwari from leading any evidence in favour of his claim that he did not father 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar.