“Stand trial” was the emphatic order by the Supreme Court on Thursday ending Nupur Talwar’s last chance of challenging a special CBI’s court decision a year ago to summon the dentist couple to stand trial for the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.
The trial of the 2008 double murder case has begun today (8 June) at a Ghaziabad court.
Justice J S Khehar and Justice A K Patnaik of the Supreme Court dismissed Nupur’s review petition and refused to order further investigation into the case. Delivering a further blow, Justice Khehar strongly criticized Nupur’s tendency to challenge every order of the lower court right up to the apex court. Describing the review petition as “wholly uncalled for,” Justice Khehar observed: “I would only seriously caution the petitioner from such behaviour in future.”
The thrust of the judgment seemed to be that there was simply no scope to jump the gun when it comes to the process of law. Once set in motion, the only way out of it was to go through it. Also it seems to be saying that it was premature for the Supreme Court to dwell on the merits of the case, when the trial court was all set to hear it.
Refusing to go into the 11 grounds presented by Nupur Talwar’s counsel questioning the basis of the Magistrate’s order, Justice Khehar said: “I am of the view, that such an assessment at the present stage would be wholly inappropriate. My dealing with the factual contours of the present controversy, at a juncture well before evidence has been recorded by the trial court, would have adverse consequences against one or the other party…. I shall, therefore, endeavor not to pre-maturely record any inferences which could/would prejudice one or the other side.”
While both the Justices fully backed the validity of the Magistrate’s order to summon the couple, they cited different reasons – Justice Patnaik wrote a separate judgment – for not ordering further investigation into the case.
Justice Khehar rejected the Talwar counsel’s request on two grounds. One, since Rajesh Talwar (who had submitted a protest petition to the Magistrate against the CBI’s closure report) had not challenged the Magistrate’s order rejecting further investigation, “The plea for further investigation, therefore, attained finality.”
And two, when Nupur Talwar had appealed in the High Court against the Magistrate’s order she had not sought further investigation. “Having not pressed the aforesaid prayer before the High Court, it is not open to the petitioner Dr Nupur Talwar, to raise the same before this Court, in a proceeding which emerges out of the determination rendered by the High Court. I, therefore, find no merit in the instant contention advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner,” Justice Khehar observed.
Justice Patnaik, in his judgement concluded, that scope for further investigation would arise only if the trial court went on to acquit the couple, observing that, “further investigation by the police on its own would be permissible, which may also result in submission of fresh charge-sheet.”
Read the full Supreme Court judgement below:
Supreme Court judgement on Talwar review plea