Veteran Congress leader N D Tiwari, who recently sought out-of-court settlement of the paternity row, on Thursday failed to avail the last opportunity granted by the Delhi High Court to testify in the 2008 case of a youth seeking to declare him as his biological father.
"The situation is such that the witness i.e. defendant no. 1 (Tiwari) is not present for his cross-examination in terms of the division bench and he has not been appearing before the commissioner as already directed by the court.
"In the given circumstances, it does not make any sense to adjourn the matter for day-to-day recording of evidence by the Commissioner," S M Chopra, a former Additional District Judge who has been appointed Local Commissioner by the high court, said in his order.
Finally closing the right to defend of 89-year-old Tiwari in the case, the local commissioner ordered that the case file be put up before the court concerned for directions.
Tiwari, who has expressed inability to pay the cost of Rs 2.5 lakh to 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar for being accorded the last opportunity to lead evidence in the case, has also not paid his share of fees fixed for the Local Commissioner.
"In so far as the payment of cost is concerned, be it noted that Tiwari had not paid the fee of Local Commissioner as fixed by the court in its order dated September 18, 2013 and despite the non-payment of fee, ...the Commissioner proceeded to record evidence which led to closure of evidence of Tiwari in terms of the order of the court on account of Tiwari not being present...," Chopra said.
The local commissioner said the court "may take appropriate view" of non-payment fee to him and the cost of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rohit who had filed the suit in 2008 seeking a declaration that Tiwari fathered him.
Earlier, Tiwari, who was initially reluctant to go for mediation, had filed a plea for "exploring" the possibilities of an "amicable" out-of-court settlement of the case.
"The applicant (Tiwari) 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," he had said in the fresh the plea.