Closure report converted into charge sheet

Converting the Central Bureau of Investigation's closure report in the sensational Aarushi-Hemraj murder case into a charge sheet, a designated court here on Wednesday summoned Aarushi's parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, as accused in the case.

Taking cognizance of the charge sheet, Special Judicial Magistrate Preeti Singh directed that the couple appear before the court on February 28. The court rejected the CBI's plea for closure of the case and charged Dr. Talwar and his wife with offences under Section 302 (murder) and Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offender), read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

It took note of the findings in the closure report that “a number of circumstances indicate involvement of the parents in the crime and the cover-up”.

The court rejected Dr. Talwar's petition seeking a direction to the CBI for further investigation. Except for their lawyer, neither the Talwars nor any of their relatives were present in the court.

Opposing the petition against the closure report, counsel for the CBI had said on Tuesday that though the findings pointed to involvement of the parents in the murders, the agency had expressed its helplessness in prosecuting them on grounds of “crucial and substantial” breaks in the chain of circumstances and insufficient evidence. Counsel for the Talwars said the couple would challenge Wednesday's court order.

According to the CBI, the findings went against Aarushi's parents as there was no possibility of involvement of an outsider in the crime; the scene of crime was heavily dressed up; and no evidence was found against the three servants previously arrested in the case.

Recording the instances of alleged dressing up of the crime scene, the report said Aarushi's body was covered with a white bed sheet; the bed linen was undisturbed; there was evidence of post-murder cleaning of her private parts; Hemraj's body was dragged to a corner of the terrace and covered with a panel of cooler; the door to the terrace was locked for the first time on the fateful night; there were bloodstains and drag marks on the staircase; and a scotch whiskey bottle with bloodstains of both victims was found on the dining table.

The report said surgical cuts on the necks of the victims were the handiwork of professionally trained experts. “The entire data on Aarushi's mobile phone was deleted. A normal criminal would have had no need to do so,” it said. Dr. Talwar tried to mislead the Noida Police by sending them in search of Hemraj, it alleged.

A missing golf stick, a suspected murder weapon, was found later by the Talwars, but they did not inform the authorities for almost a year. The golf stick, the CBI said, was found thoroughly cleaned. “The exact sequence of events between 12.08 a.m. and 6 a.m. on May 16, 2008, is not clear,” the report said.

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