Arushi trial transfer plea a red herring,CBI tells SChttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/crime/arushi-trial-transfer-plea-a-red-herring-cbi-tells-sc/

Arushi trial transfer plea a red herring,CBI tells SC

Order on petition reserved,Talwars point to their ‘harrowing’ experience.

The Supreme Court on Monday reserved for final orders a petition by dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar,whose daughter Arushi was found murdered at their Noida house in May 2008,to transfer the trial from Ghaziabad to Delhi after a heated bout of parry and counter between the couple and the CBI.

While the Talwars banked on their “harrowing” experiences after Arushi’s murder to seek transfer of the trial,the CBI said the couple’s plea was only a “red herring” calculated to delay criminal proceedings against them in the case.

Arushi was found dead on May 16,2008,and the body of their domestic help,Hemraj,was found on the terrace of the house the next day.

The CBI said an accused cannot choose the court. The transfer petitions were filed after the Supreme Court on January 6,2012,directed the couple to stand trial in the case.

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Arguing before a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and J S Khehar,the Talwars said they were picking up the pieces of their professional lives after shifting residence to Delhi in 2009 following a “particularly harrowing” two years in Noida after their daughter’s murder.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi highlighted a “murderous attack” on Rajesh Talwar by a person wielding a meat cleaver on January 25,2011,inside the Ghaziabad court premises itself. He said Rajesh barely survived the assault,which left him completely paralysed on the right side of the face.

But CBI counsel and Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval questioned whether the couple’s apprehensions about a “murderous attack” was genuine at all. He said they had never applied for police protection till date after the 2011 attack.

“His attacker was a deranged person. The same man (Rajesh’s attacker) had attacked three different persons during that time,one of them being former DGP SPS Rathore who was then accused in the Ruchika Girhotra case. It was not him (Rajesh) alone. Besides,such an incident can take place anywhere,” Raval said,assuring that the agency would take care of the couple’s security in Ghaziabad.

Senior advocate Pinaki Mishra,who also represents the Talwars,referred to CBI’s take that the real reason why the Talwars want to move the trial to Delhi is that they can apply for anticipatory bail — a relief for accused persons not prevalent in Uttar Pradesh.

Countering this allegation,Mishra said there was no such “clandestine” reason for seeking transfer to Delhi. He claimed Rajesh was already on bail and Nupur was never arraigned as an accused in the case,at least until the closure report was filed by the CBI in the case.

To this,Raval countered that Rajesh was never on bail,and that the trial court had merely refused to extend his judicial custody. He said the application moved by Rajesh on July 11,2008,was only for discharge and not specifically for bail.

“They had applied for discharge,the order releasing him was passed after we said we did not require him in custody,” Raval submitted.