On Tuesday, power cuts, rain and striking lawyers resulted in an adjournment in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial. On Wednesday, it was an untimely death: young lawyer had passed away; all proceedings in the Ghaziabad district courts were postponed. Just as on June 4, the day the trial was to begin but did not, there was a one line explanation: "Condolence ho gaya.”
The court is in the midst of recording the deposition of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory's Dr B.K. Mohapatra.
Dr Mohapatra's evidence for the prosecution and his cross-examination is a crucial round in the proceedings not just with a view to the final outcome of the trial itself, but also for the impact it might have had on a more immediate matter. Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar’s special leave petition for bail is scheduled for hearing on 6 August at the Supreme Court.
With Dr Mohapatra stopped in mid-sentence, as it were, neither side has gained any advantage that it can carry to the Supreme Court.
The apex court's decision will address a peculiar circumstance: of two people accused of the same crime, one (Dr Rajesh Talwar) is out on bail, while the other is behind bars.
Nupur has been in Dasna jail since she surrendered to a magisterial court on April 30 this year. The lower courts and the Allahabad High Court have all rejected her bail application.
Lawyers for the Talwars claim they have adequate grounds. Chief among them being that the Supreme Court granted Dr Talwar bail after he spent 50 days in Dasna prison during the early days of the investigation.
The allegation that Nupur was involved came much later, and was outlined comprehensively only in the CBI’s closure report of December 2010. Even here, the suggestion is that Rajesh Talwar wielded the golf club that killed Aarushi and their servant Hemraj. Nupur was an abettor.
This isn’t the first time, the Talwars are approaching the Supreme Court. The last time, when they pleaded for review just before the trial began in June, the Court issued a stern warning telling them not to waste its time.
That had to do with whether (and where) the trial should take place — a matter that is now settled. The only issue pending is whether Nupur should be granted bail.
If she does, she will arrive at the trial’s next hearing at the special CBI court in Ghaziabad, not from Dasna Jail, but from the Talwars’ home in South Delhi.
More on Aarushi trial: Complete Coverage - Aarushi Trial Special Articles -
Traces of blood, lots of rain, no power
Doctor only willing to take 'unsigned' responsibility
'Strange' but not 'abnormal'
Screaming advocates and a media-friendly lawyer!The mysterious case of a morning walker
Dhyan Nahin Hai, sings UP cop
Currently a visiting fellow at INSEAD, France, 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