Judge to CBI: when did you wake up to detect evidence against Talwars?

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:12 am IST

Published - April 25, 2011 06:59 pm IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court will examine the validity of the trial court order treating the CBI closure report in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case as a charge sheet and issuing summonses to the parents of the teenager, Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, for their appearance.

A Bench of Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar, on Monday posted the matter to July 12 and said the stay on the bailable warrants issued by the trial court for the Talwars' failure to appear in response to the summonses would continue.

On March 18, the Allahabad High Court refused to quash the criminal proceedings initiated by the CBI court, which, on February 9, did not accept the agency's closure report. Instead, the CBI court made the Talwars accused on charges of murder, destruction of evidence and a common intent to commit the crime and charged them under Sections 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. On March 19, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court's order.

Senior Counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Talwars, argued that the trial court's order taking cognisance of the closure report as a charge sheet was wrong. The magistrate did not even consider the protest petition filed by the Talwars for further investigation into certain aspects.

Justice Reddy wondered how the CBI suddenly woke up to detect fresh evidence after it said there was no evidence against the Talwars in the murders.

‘Do you have fresh material?'

He asked Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the agency: “Where from has the CBI become active? Pages after pages you have filed in the trial court submitting that there is nothing against them. Now how could you assume that there is evidence against them? Is it merely because the trial court has taken cognisance? What further material have you collected from the time you filed the closure report and till now? On what basis did you [CBI] come to the conclusion that they are involved in the offence? What is the evidence on record you have against them?”

When the Solicitor-General said the couple had only been asked to appear in response to the summonses, Justice Reddy observed: “Taking cognisance means setting the law in motion. It is a serious matter.”

The CBI had justified the trial court's order saying the magistrate independently examined the entire material on record — statements of witnesses, original documents, material and articles relied upon, expert opinions, photographs, the site plan and more than 3,500 pages of case diaries — and concluded that prima facie a case existed against the Talwars.

Aarushi (14) was found murdered under mysterious circumstances in her flat in Noida on May 16, 2008. The next day, the body of Hemraj, Talwars' domestic help, was found on the terrace.

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