CBI’s closure report: Does it hide more than it reveals?

In December 2010, the Central Bureau of Investigation took everyone by surprise when it decided to close the ‘sensational’ Aarushi-Hemraj murder case, concluding that “there are a number of critical and serious gaps in the circumstances which make it difficult to string together the sequence of events and motive behind the gruesome murder.”

The closure report by the CBI further added that “sufficient evidence is not available to prove the offence under section 302/201 IPC against accused Dr Rajesh Talwar beyond reasonable doubt.”

(Section 302 in the Indian Penal Code is punishment for murder and Section 201 is causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender.)

Aarushi Talwar. Screengrab/ibnlive

The CBI makes no bones about holding the first responders - in this case the Uttar Pradesh Police - responsible for botching up the investigation.

“The investigating team was handicapped by the inability of the first responders to examine the scene of crime properly and collect all possible evidences which could be available to the first responder,” states the report.

And thus, in the absence of any incriminating evidence, the CBI chose to rely entirely on circumstantial evidence, provided no motive but piggybacked on the UP police’s unsubstantiated suspicion of the father having found his daughter in “a compromising position with Hemraj” which they claimed mounted to ‘grave and sudden provocation” of the crime.

The most disturbing aspect of the entire investigation remains the utter incompetence with which the UP police handled the case, only feeding the imagination of bizarre conspiracy theorists while not taking any responsibility for their own goof-ups.

Let’s just consider one of the many examples of the blunders the UP police committed on arriving at the crime scene.

On the morning that Aarushi’s body was found, friends of Rajesh Talwar – and not the police who had arrived at the crime scene - “stumbled upon some blood stains on the handle of terrace door which was locked.”

Confronted with blood trail that was begging to be followed, this is what the police did. “Police officers also went and saw the blood stains and directed the IO (investigating officer) to get it opened hut (but) police failed to open it on the 16/05/2008.” Ah well. They tried.

The UP police, for reasons only they know, decided to leave a crucial clue unattended to for an entire day.

Not even on the next day does the UP police think it necessary to follow this blood trail.

Strangely, it is a retired police officer who arrives at the Talwar’s residence the next day who specifically directs the police to get the terrace door opened.

“He (reference here to KK Gautam, described in the report as a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police) telephonically contacted local police officers. After a few minutes, police reached the terrace and asked for the keys to the lock. They were told that the keys were not available. The lock of the door was then broken.”

What kind of a police force waits 24 hours to open a blood-stained door that is screaming to be unlocked at crime-scene where a teenager has been brutally murdered.

One more question.

Among the many items that were seized from the house of the Talwars that morning was a blood-stained scotch bottle. The closure report makes an apologetic disclosure about where that led to. “There is no evidence to explain the finger prints on the scotch bottle (which was found along with blood stains of both the victims on the bottle). As per the police diary, it was taken into possession on the morning itself. In spite of best efforts, the fingerprint could not be identified.”

And whose fault is that?

Sixteen crucial days after 14-year-old Aarushi was found dead in her house in Noida, the CBI took over the case of her murder and that of domestic help Hemraj, whose body was found the next day (17 May, 2008) on the terrace of house.

The country’s premier investigating agency after one-and-a-half years of intense investigation that included everything from labs tests to brain fingerprinting test - drew a blank and happily laid the blame at the door of the UP police.

Who will take responsibility for incompetent investigation?

The submission of the closure report by the CBI has been described by some observers as a masterstroke. Not wanting to take any chances, the agency only pointed fingers at the Talwars because they didn’t have any evidence to back their theory.

It may be recalled that in the closure report the CBI makes a U-turn from its submission in July 2008. In no uncertain words the CBI had said that the “scientific examination of the results could not connect accused Rajesh Talwar with the crime” and that “in the interest of justice” custody of Rajesh Talwar was not required.

The CBI’s closure report leaves many unanswered questions about the manner in which the investigation of the double murder was conducted.

That should worry us all.

Firstpost brings to its readers the CBI’s report on why it wanted to close the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.


(Certain explicit details relating to the autopsy have been withheld to respect the memory of the victims)

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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2012 15:31:25 IST

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