Aarushi Can Never Come Back But Will Her Parents Ever Get Justice?
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday said it would hear afresh the appeals filed by Rajesh and Nupur Talwar challenging their conviction in the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, seven months after reserving its judgement in the matter.
A division bench comprising Justices Bala Krishna Narayana and Arvind Kumar Mishra said it would hear the matter again due to “contradictions” in some submissions made by the CBI in the sensational murder case and fixed August 31 for resuming the hearing.
THE AARUSHI-HEMRAJ MURDER TRIAL
Following is the timeline of the case that shook the conscience of the nation and remained in headlines for a long time.
• Aarushi Talwar – age 13 – a class 9th student of D.P.S. Noida, was found brutally murdered, in her bedroom, on 16.05.2008, at about 6 am.
• As the domestic help Hemraj was not found in the flat, the initial suspicion was obviously on him. However, on 17.05.2008, the body of Hemraj was found on the terrace of the building in which the Talwars lived.
• The case went through many twists and turns, with Dr. Rajesh Talwar being arrested by the Noida Police, on 23.05.2008, and the Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, Gurdarshan Singh publicly issuing derogatory and defamatory statements against the deceased minor, Aarushi, her father, Dr. Rajesh Talwar and the deceased domestic help, Hemraj.
• The CBI took over the investigation of the case under Joint Director Arun Kumar, on 01.06.2008.
• In June 2008, the CBI arrested Krishna Thadarai, Rajkumar & Vijay Mandal (all of whom resided in the neighbourhood), after determining that they were involved in the double murder of Aarushi Talwar & Hemraj.
• On 11.07.2008, the CBI filed a report before the Special Metropolitan Magistrate, Ghaziabad, asking for the release of Dr. Rajesh Talwar, on grounds that the evidence, including the scientific forensic evidence, did not in any manner, connect him with the crime.
• The application itself clearly stated that no bloodstained footprint or palm print, seen at the crime scene, matched with Dr. Rajesh Talwar.
• Dr. Talwar was released from custody by the Special Metropolitan Magistrate (CBI), on the basis of the application moved by the agency.
• Inexplicably, the first team of the CBI was removed although it is widely believed that the first team had concluded its investigation and was very close to filing a charge sheet against the three domestic helps and some high ranking UP police officials.
• A fresh investigative team, based in Dehradun and Lucknow, was set up to further investigate the case in September 2009. It is believed that the second team had a “brief” to uphold the “findings” and “theories” of the Noida police.
• Within 15 days of the second team taking over the case, critical shifts in the prosecution’s story began to surface, including shifts in the post- mortem evidence, introduction of new weapons of offence & theories of cleaning up the crime scene.
• On 29.12.2010, the CBI filed a Closure Report, where, it concluded, “…the circumstantial evidence collected during investigation has critical and substantial gaps… There is absence of clear cut motive and an incomplete understanding of sequence of events…”
• The shocked parents of slain Aarushi refused to accept the closure of the case and filed a detailed 90 page Protest Petition challenging each and every investigative finding of the CBI before the Court, on 25.01.2011.
• Dr. Rajesh Talwar, through his Protest Petition, asked for the case not to be closed, and prayed for further investigation in the case, to help determine the identity of the actual criminals.
• The court disallowed the Closure Report and the Protest Petition, took cognizance of the offence, and summoned both Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar to face trial in the case (Dr. Nupur Talwar was never an accused during investigation as there was no material against her).
The shifts in the post mortem findings have caused a serious miscarriage of justice and have defamed the reputation of two people who are no longer alive to speak for themselves.
The Talwars have found themselves at the receiving end. The so-called “factual reporting” by the media often appeared to be one-sided, and based on leaks from a hostile prosecuting agency. In such a charged atmosphere, truth is often a casualty.