Aarushi-Hemraj trial: CBI focusses on 'conduct' of Talwars as key evidence

In their concluding arguments in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial, the prosecution chose to dwell on the conduct of accused Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the immediate aftermath of the murders as the main circumstantial evidence pointing to their alleged guilt.

Pallavi Polanki October 17, 2013 20:57:17 IST
Aarushi-Hemraj trial: CBI focusses on 'conduct' of Talwars as key evidence

In their concluding arguments in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial, the prosecution chose to dwell on the conduct of accused Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the immediate aftermath of the murders as the main circumstantial evidence pointing to their alleged guilt.

The Talwars, both dentists, are on trial for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj. Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found murdered in her apartment in Noida on May 16, 2008. A day later, the body of Hemraj was discovered on the terrace of the three-storey apartment. Rajesh and Nupur were in the house on the night the crime was committed.

AarushiHemraj trial CBI focusses on conduct of Talwars as key evidence

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in court for the Aarushi-Hemraj trial. PTI.

Today, its third day of arguments, the prosecution told the court that prosecution witness K K Gautam, a retired superintendent of Uttar Pradesh police, was 'used' by the accused to 'discover' Hemraj's body on the terrace.

Gautam was brought to the Talwars' residence a day after Aarushi's body was found by a common acquaintance, Sushil Chaudhary. (Chaudhary, Gautam's eye doctor, was a friend of Rajesh's brother Dinesh)

As per the CBI's closure report, it was at the instance of Gautam that the Noida Police broke open the terrace door and found Hemraj's putrified body.

The prosecution's case, which is built entirely on circumstantial evidence, is that Hemraj was killed in Aarushi's room and that his body then dragged by the Talwars over the stairs and dumped on the terrace.

Gautam, the former cop, has emerged as the key witness for the prosecution, which relied heavily on his testimony in its final arguments.

The prosecution, during the last hearing, argued that Gautam's statement to the court that Chaudhary had asked him (given his position as a former UP cop) at the instance of Dinesh to ensure that the word 'rape' was not mentioned in Aarushi's post-mortem, was proof that the Talwars had tried to interfere with investigation and mislead the Noida police.

It is the prosecution's case that Rajesh had tried to mislead the investigation from day one by lodging a complaint naming Hemraj as the suspect on the morning that Aarushi's body was discovered.

At an earlier hearing, the prosecution had argued that the language in FIR (use of past tense) indicated that the Rajesh was aware that Hemraj was dead.

Today, continuing to argue that the Talwars tried to mislead the police even after Hemraj's body was discovered, the prosecution told the court that Rajesh had refused to identify the body, a claim the defence has contested. Relying on witness statements, the prosecution argued that body of Hemraj was not in such a state that it could not be identified.

Further, the prosecution told the court that by re-painting the wooden partition (that formed part of the common wall between Aarushi's room and that of her parent's) in the same colour as the rest of the wall and having the grill door at the entrance removed, the accused had tried to alter the scene of crime.

The prosecution, however, failed to mention that the house was painted one-and-a-half years after the murders were committed and that the CBI had given the Talwars permission to do so.

The prosecution in its final arguments also argued that the Talwars had destroyed evidence, relying largely on statements of the police officers who were first to arrive at the crime scene and that of the doctor who performed the post-mortem on Aarushi's body.

The prosecutors argued that the bedroom where Aarushi's body was found was "dressed up" and that her body had been "cleaned".

Finally, invoking the Evidence Act, the prosecution told the court that the onus was on the accused to reveal information only they could be privy to, given the circumstances, to prove they did not commit the murders. (As per Section 106 of the Evidence Act, the burden of proving a fact that is especially within the knowledge of the accused is on him. For example, if 'A' is charged with travelling on a railway without a ticket, the burden of proving that he had a ticket is on him).

Defence will begin final arguments tomorrow (October 18).

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