SC rejects Talwars’ petition to shift trial

Warns couple against ‘impertinence’,says Ghaziabad Magistrate is free to take ‘coercive measures’ if needed.

Written by Krishnadas Rajagopal | New Delhi | Published: March 3, 2012 6:47 am

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed petitions filed by dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar to transfer the trial of their murdered daughter Arushi from Ghaziabad to Delhi.

A bench led by Justice B S Chauhan said the Talwars’ conduct showed “impertinence magnified manifold” for the rule of law.

The court was referring to comments made by the Talwars to the effect that the trial judge was hearing the case in a “pre-determined manner”.

The trial judge had refused to close the Arushi case despite the CBI reporting so,and had gone ahead to issue summons to the parents to appear in the case.

“The impertinence of the petitioners in the instant case,is magnified manifold. Although we could have initiated action against the petitioners,yet in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case,we refrain ourselves from doing so. However,we consider it just and appropriate to warn the petitioners from any such impertinence in future,” the bench observed in the order.

Laying down the law for the Talwars,the court gave the CBI Magistrate,Ghaziabad,liberty to even take “coercive measures” to ensure they comply with orders.

“We wish to reiterate,that the order dated January 25,2011,shall be enforced in letter and in spirit. In case of breach thereof,we would expect the Special Judicial Magistrate (CBI),Ghaziabad,to take appropriate steps including coercive measures if necessary,” the court said.

Arushi was found dead at the Talwars’ Noida residence on May 16,2008,and the body of their domestic help,Hemraj,was found on the terrace the next day.

Citing the reasons given by the Talwars for transfer of trial,the court said how the couple,who are now residing in Delhi,said it was “inconvenient” for them to attend the hearings in Ghaziabad.

“Inconvenience cannot be a valid basis for transfer of criminal proceedings from one court to another,” it said.

“Based on a simple mathematical conclusion the distance between Delhi and Ghaziabad must be approximately 52 km. It is not understandable how a plea of inconvenience can be based to avoid travelling a distance of merely 52 km. A couple of hours would be consumed for travelling to and fro,” Justice Chauhan said.

On the apprehensions of personal safety after Rajesh Talwar was attacked on the Ghaziabad premises,the court said it was an incident “clearly unrelated to the court proceedings”. It added that the Ghaziabad Sessions Judge has now personally reviewed the security system and the place is “totally safe”.

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