November 26, 2013 5:06:40 am
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) relied on circumstantial evidence to prove Rajesh and Nupur Talwar guilty of murder and destruction of evidence. Central to its case were three arguments only four persons were present in the house on the night of the murder; the behaviour of the Talwars after the killings; and,the destruction of evidence. Counter arguments by the defence failed to turn the case in the favour of the Talwars.
Only four persons were in the house
The circumstance that there was no outsider in the house
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on the night of May 15-16 was built on the testimonies of two employees of the Talwars driver Umesh and domestic help Bharti Mandal.
Umeshs account: On the night of May 15,2008,when Rajesh Talwar returned home,Umesh said he parked the car in the garage. He took the stairs to the L-32 flat and handed over the car keys and Rajeshs bag to Hemraj. At that time,only the three family members and Hemraj were present in the house.
Bhartis account: She told the court that when she first went to the house at 6 am on May 16,
she found the outer grill door shut. But once Nupur threw down the keys,she found the door open. She also said when Nupur first came to the door,she said,Hemraj must have gone to get milk. Bharti said Nupur later told her look what Hemraj has done.
The CBI argument: Nobody entered or left the flat after Umesh handed over the car keys. Bharti initially found the door shut but it opened later. This indicates that the door was shut from inside,that there was no forced entry. Nobody else could have committed the murders.
The defence counter: Bharti was a tutored witness,and told the court that she was saying what she had been told. Forced entry was never an issue since
Hemraj allowed three men
(Krishna,Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal) into the house. The
defence said Hemrajs room
had two doors,one which opened into the house,and the other that led outside.
The conduct of the Talwars
Several witnesses were asked to comment on the behaviour of the Talwars when they visited the L-32 home. Testimonies of witnesses such as Dattaram Nauneria,the then SHO,Bharti Mandal and Punish Rai Tandon,who lived in the same building,helped build the prosecution case. Tandon told the court that he,and not the family,called police. Bharti said Nupur and Rajesh did not go close to Aarushis body. Nauneria said Rajesh seemed reluctant to identify the body of Hemraj.
The CBI argument: The conduct of the couple shows they were guilty,and were wary of the discovery of Hemrajs body.
Defence counter: There are also several witnesses who said the Talwars appeared distraught. In the absence of hard evidence,conduct alone cannot be a basis for conviction.
Destruction of evidence
Alleging destruction of evidence,the CBI pointed to testimonies of CBI investigating officer AGL Kaul,Dr Sunil Dohre,retired DSP K K Gautam and witnesses present in the house on the morning of May 16.
Kauls account: He said Aarushis room was cleaned and washed immediately after the body was taken for cremation. The key to the door of Aarushis room,which the Talwars said was locked every night,was never found. Two golf clubs that Rajesh handed over were cleaner than the others.
Dr Dohres account: During Aarushis post-mortem examination,he found that the private parts were enlarged,indicating that the area had been cleaned after death.
Gautams account: He claimed he had received a call from Dr Sushil Choudhary who in turn had been asked by the Talwar family to prevent the use of the word rape appearing in the post-mortem report.
The CBI argument: All points suggest that the Talwars were guilty. One of the cleaned golf clubs,with number 4 engraved,was the murder weapon.
The defence counter: Dohre and Gautam never mentioned these points in their initial statements to investigators. This suggests they did it later under CBI pressure.
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