HC reserves order on Aarushi's parents' petition till March 18



Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday reserved its judgement till March 18th on a petition filed by Aarushi Talwar's parents who challenged a special CBI court's decision to initiate criminal proceedings against them in the murder of their teenaged daughter besides a domestic help.

Justice Bala Krishna Narayana reserved his judgement after hearing arguments from both the petitioners as well as the respondents.

Noida-based dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar had moved the high court on February 21 with the prayer to set aside the February 9 order passed by special CBI court at Ghaziabad, wherein they had been accused of involvement in the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj besides criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.

The Talwars, who were represented by senior advocate Gopal Chaturvedi, had contended that the court had passed its order holding that there was "enough evidence" to initiate proceedings against them though the CBI had, in its closure report, named neither of them as suspects.

The couple had also alleged that a number of facts, that had come up during investigation in the three-year-old double-murder case were "overlooked" by the trial court. Besides, the petitioners had questioned the summons issued to the girl's mother Nupur on the ground that she was not named as an accused either in the FIR or in the charge sheet and at no stage of investigation was she taken into custody for interrogation.

In its arguments, the CBI had held that the special court at Ghaziabad was well within its rights to initiate proceedings if it found there was sufficient evidence. Moreover, the probe agency had also rebutted the preliminary objection filed by the petitioners who said that the CBI being an investigating agency had no power to oppose the position.

"The CBI is arguing the case only to assist the court," the probe agency's counsel Nazrul Islam Jafri and Anurag Khanna had argued besides pointing out that the dentist couple could not give a satisfactory account of what happened on the night of May 15-16, 2008, when Aarushi was murdered. The CBI counsel also claimed that the couple had

failed to identify the body of Hemraj, which was recovered from the terrace of their house a day later.

Government advocate DR Chaudhary, who appeared on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, had debunked the Talwars' argument that since CBI's closure report had not named them as suspects they could not be subjected to trial saying "an investigating agency was not bound by the opinions expressed by the investigating officer in the closure report". The CBI court had on March 1 rejected the Talwar's plea for exemption from personal appearance, issued bailable warrants against them and fixed March 22 as the next date of hearing in the case.

PTI