CBI closes Aarushi murder case

The CBI said it found it impossible to reach any plausible conclusion because of lack of evidence.

Updated: Dec 29, 2010, 23:39 PM IST

Ghaziabad (UP): The CBI on Wednesday filed a closure report in the Aarushi double murder case before a court on the grounds there was no available evidence at the crime scene to
pursue the probe, meeting a dead-end in the case that shook
the country over two years back.

After a detailed two-and-a-half year probe marked by botched up investigations, the CBI said it found it impossible to reach any plausible conclusion because of lack of concrete forensic evidence at the crime scene to nail the culprits and decided to close the case.

The designated court will fix the date for taking cognizance of the closure report filed by the CBI. If accepted, the three suspects -- Raj Kumar, Vijay Mandal and Krishna -- will be set free. They are out on bail now.

The Talwar family have decided to file an appeal against the closure report.

The CBI move sparked outrage among Aarushi`s parents—a dentist couple--and her family.

"I am completely shocked. We tried everything. We underwent all tests so that there is no scope for any speculation and despite this filing of closure report by CBI is shocking," Aarushi`s mother Nupur said.

Aarushi`s father Rajesh Talwar said he is completely devastated and wondered what prompted CBI to close the case.

When asked whether the family will file an appeal in the case, their lawyer Rebbecca John said "Of course. We will."

14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was murdered in the intervening night of May 15-16 in 2008 along with their domestic help Hemraj, whose body lay on the terrace.

Forensic experts involved in the case said that crucial evidence were destroyed allegedly by probe agency and accused CBI of cover up.

"They had sent us some blood stained bedsheets from the bed of the victims. Using that and the blood of the parents of the Aarushi, we were able to establish that the blood stains were indeed that of the girl...

"We were also sent some slides which were the vaginal swabs taken from the victim to check whether there was sexual assault. What came out was surprising that they were not of the victim. That has been a very clear swapped that has taken
place and that was something we had communicated to CBI.
That indicated that there were some interest in ensuring that
evidence has been tampered with," said Dr J Gowrishankar,
Director, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics,
Hyderabad.

The forensic expert also raised doubts over the investigations handled first by Uttar Pradesh Police before handing it over to CBI.

The Uttar Pradesh Police which started investigations in the murder teenaged daughter of dentist couple -- Rajesh and Nupur Talwar -- suspected domestic help Hemraj for the killing and dispatched a team to Nepal to nab him.

But these claims fell flat as an acquaintance of Talwars found a trail of blood to terrace next day where Hemraj`s body was found lying in a dried blood.

The shoddy probe by the Police evoked sharp media frenzy and triggered demands of CBI probe as state police levelled
allegations of honour killing against the father and arrested
him for the murder of his daughter Aarushi and domestic Hemraj.

The Centre which was reluctant to hand over probe to the CBI gave its nod after a fortnight and investigations started under Joint Director Arun Kumar on June 1, 2008.

Immediately, a 25-member team with senior forensic officials was rushed to Jalwayu Vihar residence which was the crime scene.

The CBI arrested domestic help of Talwar`s compounder Krishna, domestic help of their neighbour Mandal and Rajkumar, the domestic help of Durranis-- friends of Talwars.

All the five suspects including the parents of Aarushi were subjected to detailed questioning, narco-analysis, brain mapping and lie detector test but the agency could not find
any lead which could help them in concluding the case.

On July 11, 2008, the CBI claimed that there was not even a shred of evidence to suggest that the murder was committed by the parents and subsequently, the father was released on bail after remaining in jail for 57 days.

The CBI, which was almost certain to chargesheet the three arrested helps, decided to carryout further probe after the new CBI Director Ashwani Kumar took charge and constituted
a fresh team to look into the case.

During the investigations, the new team pointed out several times to forensic experts about the distorted finger and foot prints at the crime scene in the case. A year later, the CBI claimed that the DNA samples of Aarushi were tampered
with or not taken properly by the examining doctor when the
case was in the domain of local police.

In a statement later, CBI spokesman said the agency was entrusted with investigation relating to murders of Aarushi and Hemraj.

"In the final report, all the evidence which was available and could be gathered during investigation and the gaps in evidence, have been detailed," the spokesman said.

After completing investigation, the has filed a final report for closure of case on ground of insufficient evidence in the competent Court today, he said.

Since the matter is now subjudice, CBI will comply with the further orders of the competent Court, he said.

"In view of the directive of the Hon`ble Supreme Court dated July 22, 2008 passed in the Writ Petition (Civil) No.316 of 2008 (Dr.Surat Singh Vs. Union of India & Ors), CBI is not
in a position to share any further details regarding the case
with the media," the statement said.

PTI