CBI di­luted ev­i­dence of Kr­ishna’s pres­ence: HC

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

The bench me­thod­i­cally took apart the en­tire line of in­ves­ti­ga­tion fol­lowed by CBI ever since it was roped in by the Ut­tar Pradesh gov­ern­ment to probe the Aarushi case in 2008. The bench cited a string of cir­cum­stances which con­sid­ered col­lec­tively did not lead to the “ir­re­sistible con­clu­sion” that no one but Nupur and Ra­jesh Tal­war could have com­mit­ted the crimes. It noted that the pres­ence of an out­sider in Tal­war’s Noida flat on the night of the crime “can­not be ruled out.”

“Cer­tainly two views are pos­si­ble; one point­ing to the guilt of the ap­pel­lants; and the other to their in­no­cence and in view of the prin­ci­ples ex­pounded by the apex court, we pro­pose to adopt the view which is favourable to the ap­pel­lants,” the judg­ment stated.

The HC high­lighted how CBI’s lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor A G L Kaul di­luted the worth of a damn­ing re­port of Hy­der­abad foren­sic lab on Kr­ishna Thadarai’s pil­low con­tain­ing Hem­raj’s blood by ex­tract­ing a “clar­i­fi­ca­tion” from the lab that Kr­ishna’s link to the item was a “ty­po­graph­i­cal er­ror”.

The court viewed the re­port as “a piece of clinch­ing ev­i­dence on record in­di­cat­ing that Kr­ishna was present in the ap­pel­lants’ flat when Hem­raj was mur­dered and it is on ac­count of the afore­said fact that Hem­raj’s blood got em­bossed on the hair of Kr­ishna which in turn got em­bossed on his pur­ple pil­low cover which was ad­mit­tedly seized from the Kr­ishna’s premises.” It cited the tes­ti­mony of foren­sic ex­perts and a Noida po­lice DSP to note that the “pos­si­bil­ity of pres­ence of other per­sons and out­siders be­sides Hem­raj hav­ing ac­cessed the apart­ment in the fate­ful night can­not be ruled out and the clear and cred­i­ble ev­i­dence of al­ter­na­tive hy­poth­e­sis avail­able on record sub­stan­tially de­mol­ishes the pros­e­cu­tion’s theo- ry that the crime was com­mit­ted by the ap­pel­lants alone as there was no proof of any out­siders hav­ing ac­cessed into the apart­ment.” The judges noted that CBI had “failed to prove by any re­li­able or co­gent ev­i­dence, the mo­tive sug­gested by the pros­e­cu­tion for Tal­wars to com­mit the dou­ble mur­der, that is, the de­ceased be­ing caught in the midst of a sex­ual act on the fate­ful night by Ra­jesh Tal­war who sud­denly got so gravely pro­voked that he com­mit­ted their mur­der.”

The court chiefly held three doc­tors — Su­nil Dohre, Naresh Raj and M S Dahiya — re­spon­si­ble for in­tro­duc­ing the sex­ual in­ter­course the­ory as the main mo­tive for the crime at the in­stance of CBI, with­out an “iota of ev­i­dence”.

The tes­ti­mony of a Noida ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial San­jay Chauhan claim­ing that he was one of the first to reach the crime scene in the morn­ing when he saw blood stains on the ter­race was also called out by the HC. De­scrib­ing Chauhan as a “planted wit­ness”, the court said CBI had brought him only to con­tra­dict the Tal­wars on hearsay ev­i­dence.

HC also faulted the CBI for be­ing un­able to prove that the den­tist cou­ple was awake on the night of the mur­ders and punched holes in its much touted claim that the in­ter­net router re­mained ac­tive due to man­ual us­age. De­spite “tu­tor­ing” maid Bharti Man­dal, the CBI was un­able to bring out from her tes­ti­mony that when she reached the flat next morn­ing, the out­er­most iron grill door was latched/locked from in­side, HC noted. It led the court to ques­tion the probe team’s next premise — that Aarushi and Hem­raj were as­saulted by the Tal­wars in her bed­room af­ter which they dragged the body of Hem­raj to the ter­race af­ter wrap­ping it in a bed sheet.

It said CBI dis­counted the strong pos­si­bil­ity of out­siders hav­ing en­tered Tal­war’s flat and left af­ter com­mit­ting the dou­ble mur­der and in the process latched the mid­dle iron mesh door from out­side and left the outer grill door of their flat open. “While ex­am­in­ing the the­ory of al­ter­na­tive hy­poth­e­sis of the dou­ble mur­der covenanted in the pros­e­cu­tion case it­self, we have al­ready held that there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence on record sug­gest­ing en­try of out­siders into the flat… More­over, dur­ing the course of in­ves­ti­ga­tion the CBI had ar­rested and in­ter­ro­gated Kr­ishna Thadarai, Ra­jku­mar and Vi­jay Man­dal who had re­mained sus­pects of the dou­ble mur­der for a con­sid­er­ably long time dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” it noted.

Re­fer­ring to botched up foren­sic re­sults, the court said the CBI couldn’t es­tab­lish that in­juries found on Aarushi and Hem­raj were in­flicted by golf club num­ber no. 5 and a sur­gi­cal scalp. Quot­ing from a Supreme Court rul­ing — “graver the crime, greater should be the stan­dard of proof”— the HC said the life sen­tence awarded to the cou­ple by Ghazi­abad CBI spe­cial court judge Shyam Lal could not be sus­tained.

The court also said there was enough ev­i­dence on record show­ing that the golf club, which was handed over by Ra­jesh to the probe team, “was nei­ther prop­erly sealed nor kept in maalkhana and the same had been tam­pered with.”

File photo

Ra­jesh and Nupur Tal­war

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