In the absence of any hard evidence against Dr Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, the CBI has tried to build its case in the Aarushi-Hemraj murders around two propositions:
a) No one but the Talwars could have done it.
b) Since Aarushi's parents were in the house on the night of the murders, the burden was on them to prove they didn't commit the crimes.
In the last stages of his final arguments for the defence, the dentist couple's counsel Tanveer Ahmed Mir, placed a compelling set of evidence before the court to suggest that there were other people in the house on the night of the murders.
That someone else could indeed have committed the crimes. And that all of this is evident from the CBI's submissions and the testimony of its witnesses.
The CBI's caes is that Rajesh Talwar to swigs from a bottle of Ballantines Finest just after the murders, leaving traces of Hemraj's blood on the bottle, but no fingerprints.
But these weren't the only bottles found in the house that night with their contents partially consumed. In Hemraj's room, the police found a bottle of wine, two bottles of beer and a bottle of sprite. Again, traces of Hemraj's blood, but no prints matching the Talwars.
The CBI theorises Dr Talwar drank the whiskey. Who then consumed the rest of the liquor? Hemraj was a teetotaller.
One of the CBI's 'key' witnesses, the former NOIDA cop K.K Gautam, had told investigators that he concluded upon inspecting Hemraj's room that telltale signs of three or four people having been there were everywhere: even the toilet appeared to have been used by multiple people.
How did all these people enter the house without the Talwar's knowing? A sound simulation test conducted in the premises by a team of scientists came to the conclusion that with the ac on, and the door locked, practically nothing--including the sound of the main door being opened or shut; or footsteps around the house--could be heard from the Talwars' bedroom.
It is plausible, even by the CBI's own evidence, that there were others in the flat that night, said Mir. It couldn't just treat this as a 'no one else could have done it scenario'.
Was the golf club the only possible weapon? The answer to that, too, is no. Post mortem doctors appearing for the CBI have said the fatal blunt weapon wounds may have been caused by a khukri. Nowhere has the CBI said the khukri "wasn't" the weapon. It has only speculated that a golf club was: the golf club in question was never sent to the post-mortem doctors. The chief investigating officer, A.G.L. Kaul, played doctor himself. The khukri, however was sent for examination.
The reason is clear from the CBI's own records. In applications to court to extend the suspect Krishna's remand, the agency had shown a court disclosures by Krishna admitting his guilt. (This is before any narco/polygraph tests were done on him). CBI investigating officers admitted to the trial court that they were aware of the disclosures, adding that they could not, however, rely on them.
How much more convenient to shift the burden on to the Talwars. As in, almost comically: we needn't provide any evidence, nor prove anything. You prove you didn't "look suspicious". You prove that you didn't clean up the crime scene. You prove that it wasn't the golf club.
It appears to be the CBI's mission in this case to make up the stories, and then ask the Talwars to disprove a their theory. They have alluded to a point of law that apparently allows this, but as usual, this is being done to mislead. In the specific case of dowry death, the accused is presumed guilty. This isn't a dowry death. What it requires is a plausible alternative scenarios.
So what do we have here? Fairly solid proof of others being in the house. At least two possible weapons of offence - either khukri or golf club. The prosecution, wittingly (often otherwise) has said all of this through the course of the trial, adding "but the Talwars did it".
Were the Talwars on the internet?
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Avirook Sen has been a journalist and writer for over 20 years. A former resident editor of Hindustan Times (Mumbai) and editor of Mid-Day, he has written with passion and insight on subjects as varied as sport and terrorism for top publications across the world. His first book, Looking for America, was published in 2010 to enthusiastic reviews. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org