Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ appeal against the Special CBI court’s judgment convicting them for the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj in 2008 has been admitted by the Allahabad High Court. The Court has given the CBI four weeks to file its objections to the appeal.
The Talwars, who were sentenced to life imprisonment by the special CBI court in November last year, have also applied for the suspension of the sentence (bail) during the pendency of the trial. Arguments for the bail application will be heard by the court on 11 March, the next date of hearing.
“Both appeals stand admitted. And on applications for suspension of sentence pending the hearing of the trial, the court has issued notice to the CBI. The CBI will reply to our bail applications and arguments for the bail will be heard on 11 March,” said Tanveer Ahmed Mir, counsel for the Talwars.
A special CBI in Ghaziabad had in its 204-page judgement dismissed the defence's alternate hypothesis that there were seven and not four people in the house on that night as “wild suggestion”. (Read full report here)
However, the judge’s clean chit to the investigating agency by shifting the burden of proof on to the accused, its reliance on a controversial piece of testimony by a CBI witness and its unsubstantiated assumptions, make it a rather controversial judgment. (Read full report here)
Speaking about the grounds of the appeal challenging the trial court verdict, advocate Mir said, “The trial court has committed a fundamental fallacy in seeking to shift the entire burden to prove innocence on to the accused under the garb of Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act. In a murder trial the burden can never be on the accused. It has to be on the prosecution alone.
“Secondly, the court has made a very fundamental error by treating Bharti Mandal (maid of the Talwars, who was the first to arrive on the morning of May 16, 2008, the day Aarushi’s body was found) as the edifice of entire case... the court despite accepting that Mandal had been tutored to give her statement in court accepted her testimony on the grounds that she belongs to lower strata of society.”
Further, Mir said that in “writing the judgment, the judge had manufactured evidence against the accused when evidence was not available.”
“The appeal has 56 distinct grounds but the main grounds are that it was passed upon ill-appreciation of the evidence that was on record, that it believed witnesses despite accepting that their testimonies were unreliable and that its approach goes against the settled parameters of law.”
On 16 May, 2008, 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found murdered in her apartment in Noida. A day later, the body of domestic help Hemraj was discovered on the terrace of the three-storey apartment.
Updated Date: Jan 23, 2014 19:16 PM