Bailable arrest warrants were today issued against dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in connection with the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad which rejected their plea for exemption from personal appearance before the magistrate.

Rajesh and Nupur had been summoned by the court to appear before it today after Special Judicial Magistrate Preeti Mishra, on February 9, rejected agency’s closure report in the double murder case and made them accused on charges of murder, destruction of evidence and common intention to commit the crime.

A supplementary affidavit was also moved by the duo before the Allahabad High Court in which they claimed that several facts that had come up during investigations had been overlooked by the special CBI court.

In their affidavit, the Talwars claimed that a DNA test conducted on November 6, 2008 had concluded that the finger marks found on the terrace of their house, on a whiskey bottle found inside the house and on the pillow of another domestic servant Krishna, belonged to “the same person and most certainly a male”.

Rajesh, in his plea submitted before the CBI court, sought exemption from appearing before the court citing medical reasons while Nupur had cited pendency of a related matter before the Allahabad High Court.

The couple had challenged before the Allahabad High Court the summons issued to them by the special CBI court in Ghaziabad in the double murder of their teenage daughter and domestic help Hemraj through a writ petition.

The High Court which started hearing the matter on February 25 has not given any stay against the CBI court order.

“The CBI court rejected the plea put forth by Rajesh and Nupur and issued bailable warrants of Rs. 20,000 each against them. The court has now directed them to appear before it on March 22,” counsel for Talwars’, Satish Tamta said.

“The Allahabad High Court heard the plea today but reserved its decision till tomorrow,” he said.

Rajesh is not medically fit and has been advised bed rest and he cannot move without help, he said.

The petitioners had pleaded before the High Court that summons had been issued to them despite the fact that they had not been named as accused by the investigating agency in its closure report.

Aarushi (14) was found murdered inside her Noida residence near Delhi on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008, while the body of domestic help Hemraj was found hours later on the terrace of the house.

Although Rajesh was intensively grilled by the CBI, which also took him for narco tests and brain-mapping, the agency did not name him or his wife as accused in its closure report filed earlier this year.

The Talwars also alleged they were denied access to Aarushi’s computer, seized by CBI for investigations, despite an application moved under the Information Technology Act.

The couple submitted that they needed access to the computer to find out who could have switched on the router, which was essential for having access to the Internet.

The router was switched on when Aarushi was found dead inside her room.

Besides, it was submitted on behalf of the Talwars that there was no evidence against Nupur in the case diary which could validate the summons issued to her, along with Rajesh, by the CBI court.

The Talwars’ counsel in the High Court, Gopal Chaturvedi argued that the court could have proceeded against Nupur only under Section 319 CrPC if in course of trial any evidence of her complicity in the murder had emerged.

CBI counsel Nazrul Islam Jafri rebutted the Talwars’ submission made last Friday that the agency had “no power to oppose the petition”, saying “the CBI was not a party in the case and it was arguing the matter only to assist the court”.

Responding to the petitioners’ earlier submission that the court had “wrongly” decided to proceed against them despite the fact that the CBI had not named them as suspects in its closure report, Mr. Jafri said, “If a magistrate is not satisfied with the conclusions of the investigating agency, he or she is free to take any decision in this regard.”

Mr. Jafri also referred to the testimony of Talwars’ driver Umesh Sharma, who had stated that he saw Aarushi along with her parents at their dining table around 9.30 pm on May 15, 2008.

“In her testimony, the Talwars’ maid servant Bharati had said that on the next morning at 6.30 am, she woke up the couple when Aarushi did not respond to the knocks on her door.

Nupur thereafter opened the door with the help of the key she was in possession of.

This proves that the murder took place between the period Umesh went to the house and Bharati came to attend to her daily chores. The burden of proving what happened in the mean time, lay on the Talwars,” Mr. Jafri said.

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