Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Talwars to appeal conviction in High Court today

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Posted: January 21, 2014 3:13 am

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, convicted for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, will file an appeal against their conviction at the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday. Their lawyers said an application for bail had also been attached with the appeal, with the matter likely to be listed for Thursday. After four years of a sensational trial that caught the imagination of the media, the Talwars were convicted in November 2013 by the court of Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal.

Tanveer Ahmed Mir, lead counsel for Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, said the appeal runs into 2,200 pages, with the grounds for appeal being 600 pages long. “In the appeal, there is a special reference to the 26 incriminating circumstances that judge Shyam Lal mentioned in his order. There is an explanation given for each one of them. In turn, 40 independent circumstances and pieces of evidence which prove the innocence of the Talwars have also been mentioned in the appeal,” Mir said.

The counsel said one of the primary planks on which the appeal rests is the shift of the burden of proof on Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. “The judgment shifts the burden of proof to Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, to prove their own innocence. However, this shift is unlawful, and the prosecution cannot do it in a murder case like this. Second, even if the burden was shifted, there are several circumstances that prove their innocence. Most importantly, the prosecution put forth a graphic theory on the events of the night of May 15 and 16. They gave a step-by-step account of the happenings as they transpired. How can they say that they do not know what happened, and the couple must explain. The law maintains that it is the prosecution’s stated theory that has to be tested by evidence,” Mir said.

Mir also pointed to the court’s “glaring errors” in accepting the versions of key witnesses such as Bharti Mandal. “The trial court itself said Mandal was the cornerstone witness and in her account she admitted that she had been tutored. Judge Shyam Lal himself mentioned that the account of the doctors was no less than medical blasphemy. But in both cases somehow, he has seen fit to accept the improvements the witnesses made in their statement. With all this in mind, we are more than hopeful that the High Court will come to a favourable decision,” he said.

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