The recording of statements of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar,who are being tried for the 2008 murder of their teenaged daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj,under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,began at a sessions court in Ghaziabad on Friday.
This comes two days after Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal rejected an application by the Talwars which had sought that hearings be adjourned for a week. The judge directed the couple to be present in court on Friday,failing which their bail would be cancelled and they would only have themselves to blame.
Rajesh Talwar was asked 188 questions by the judge. Incidentally,Friday also marked five years to the day the body of Hemraj was discovered on the terrace of the Talwar residence,a day after Aarushis body was found in her room.
Section 313 CrPC entails forming of questions based on the testimonies of prosecution witnesses that have appeared before court previously,and asking the accused if they agree with the statements that have been recorded. Members of the defence counsel said approximately 500 questions have been framed per accused. The questions asked are based only on the examination of the prosecution witnesses,and not the cross-examination.
Manish Sisodia,counsel representing the Talwars,said: In the 313 statement,the accused gets a chance to explain himself before the court,faced with allegations from prosecution witnesses. Of the 39 prosecution witnesses in the case,questions were asked based on the examination of around 20 witnesses. The rest will be asked at the next hearing. Once Rajesh is asked all the questions assigned to him,the process will be repeated with Nupur Talwar,the other accused in the case.
Lawyers said testimonies included those of key witnesses such as Bharti (Talwars maid),Umesh (their driver),Sanjay Chauhan (city magistrate),
K K Gautam (former DSP of Noida Police),Mahesh Kumar Mishra (former SP of Noida) and Dr Sunil Dohre (who conducted the post-mortem examination of Hemraj).
The defence counsel quoted Rajesh Talwar as saying that Dr Dinesh Talwar,his brother,had not asked Dr Sushil Choudhary to tell K K Gautam to speed up the post-mortem process,and remove mention of the word rape from the post-mortem report.
The answer was in reference to a question asked by the judge on the basis of K K Gautams statement.
Allahabad HC reserves order on Talwars plea to summon witnesses
The Allahabad High Court on Friday reserved its judgement on two applications filed by dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar who are under trial for allegedly killing their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.
The couple had sought the courts intervention in directing the special CBI court in Ghaziabad to summon at least 14 prosecution witnesses,including investigating officers,who have been dropped by the CBI from its witness list.
Besides,an application was also filed to summon some of the private witnesses who gave statements contrary to the charges being pressed by the CBI.
A single-judge bench of Justice Rajesh Dayal Khare reserved judgment after hearing the arguments of both parties. Rebecca John,counsel for Talwars in the Allahabad High Court,said: We were never adamant on getting the statement of the 14 witnesses,which included investigating officers,recorded first. But we want that those witnesses be summoned to the court for their statements and cross-examination. Some of the private persons too need to be cross-examined.
John said it would have been better if the statements of the witnesses in question were recorded first.
CBI Counsel Anurag Khanna said: Our submission before the court was that when the main investigating officer A B L Kaul has already appeared before the court,given a statement and been cross-examined,there was no ground for summoning previous IOs. Also,in case the defence wanted to summon some private witnesses,they could approach the court concerned.
The court was further told that the CBI did not feel the need to include those private witnesses in their witness list,he added.
Earlier,after their applications were rejected by the sessions court in Ghaziabad,the Talwars had approached the Supreme Court. However,the Supreme Court asked them to approach the High Court.