On 14 May, The Supreme Court of India made a "request" to the Allahabad High Court to hear an application made by Dr Rajesh and Nupur Talwar out of turn. On Friday, the court is likely to take it up in the first half. The Talwars’ application is a prayer to reverse an order by the Ghaziabad court where they are being tried for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj in May 2008.
It seeks the court’s intervention in summoning witnesses that the prosecution has chosen to "rely upon" but not call into court to testify. These witnesses, says the Talwars’ application, are crucial to the defence, before the next phase of the trial commences.
That next phase is all set to begin in Ghaziabad on Friday afternoon: when the court will lay out the evidence against the accused, and ask them to respond. The events of Friday will take place exactly five years since Hemraj’s body was discovered on the terrace of the Talwars’ NOIDA flat on a stiflingly hot mid-May morning.
A morning on which the country was presented with its most famous closed door mystery, its circumstances—and the police—whipping up a cocktail that had the sickeningly captivating aroma of blood and sex.
Five years on, the mystery remains, but a verdict is in sight. The Allahabad High Court may do one of two things on Friday: either dismiss the Talwars’ prayer (in which case, given their track record, they will most likely go straight back to the Supreme Court); the Allahabad High Court could also ask the CBI for a response, and this is the more likely scenario.
In the latter case, judge Shyam Lal in Ghaziabad is well within his powers to continue the trial as per the schedule he has laid out—which means the Talwars start answering his questions.
The lower court judge’s earlier order rejecting the summoning of witnesses may well be reversed at a later date by the Allahabad High Court. But by that time, the Talwars would have laid out their defence before the trial judge. The CBI will, no doubt, not be in a hurry to provide any response to the Allahabad High Court if it is asked to do so: this is part of the game. And all indications are that it begins on Friday in Ghaziabad.
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