There's temporary relief for Nupur Talwar, an accused in the murder of her teenage daughter Aarushi. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has assured the Supreme Court that it will not arrest Mrs Talwar till the top court hears her anticipatory bail plea. That can only happen earliest next week.
As the anticipatory bail petition of Mrs Talwar came up for hearing today, a bench of justices AK Patnaik and JS Khehar said, "When this matter was listed before us yesterday, we were of the impression that this is a plea concerning the review petition pending before us. Now we have realised it is an independent application where the petitioner is seeking anticipatory bail. We are therefore not inclined to hear the matter and are referring this to the Chief Justice of India to post before another bench".
The bench then asked the CBI whether they will arrest Mrs Talwar till the bail plea is heard, to which the Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval, appearing for the investigating agency replied that the apex court should have "faith on them".
The CBI says it has known where Mrs Talwar was for the last 24 hours and could have arrested her but didn't.
In another matter, the Supreme Court clarified to the CBI today that Mrs Talwar can move freely in Delhi NCR and that does not restrain the investigating agency from taking action against her.
"Your apprehensions are misplaced. Our order doesn't restrain you from taking action against her," the court said.
Rajesh Talwar had been granted this relief by the apex court in January and the CBI had sought clarification on whether Aarushi's mother could move freely within the NCR while a review petition that she has moved in the Supreme Court against an Allahabad High Court order, is pending.
The petition was heard by a different bench than the one which referred Mrs Talwar's anticipatory bail plea to the Chief Justice of India.
Mrs Talwar today turned up at the Supreme Court after being untraceable for two days. She appeared calm and kept her head down for most part of the proceedings.
She had gone into hiding after a non-bailable warrant was issued against her by the Ghaziabad court on Wednesday, after she failed to show up in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court.
Pursuant to the warrant, CBI officials carried out searches at her south Delhi residence, and two other places, but did not find her there.
Nupur Talwar's lawyer Rebecca John said today that her client had not been absconding. "The rumours that were spreading that she has been absconding for the past 2 days have now come out as a lie. She appeared for the case. It was an act of dignity and courage...The Talwars have no intention of not facing any kind of trial Here are parents who have lost their child but their liberties have to be ensured and that they should be permitted to speak their innocence."
Mrs Talwar had yesterday moved the Supreme Court against the April 9 Allahabad High court order which suspended the 30 days protection given to her. It was based on this order that the CBI court in Ghaziabad issued the non-bailable warrant for her.Mrs Talwar had yesterday moved the Supreme Court against the April 9 Allahabad High court order which suspended the 30 days protection given to her. It was based on this order that the CBI court in Ghaziabad issued the non-bailable warrant for her.
On April 9, the Allahabad High Court had suspended its March 13 order asking Mrs Talwar to appear before the Ghaziabad court within 30 days. It had also asked the trial court to "expeditiously" decide any bail application filed by her.
The lawyer for the Talwars had said in court on Wednesday that the couple has already appealed to the Supreme Court against the order that puts them on trial for their daughter's murder. That case will be heard on April 27 by the Supreme Court. Till that is decided, their lawyer says, the court in Ghaziabad should not issue any directions on Mrs Talwar's case.
Aarushi was found dead in her bedroom at the Talwars' home in the Delhi suburb of Noida in May 2008. The Talwars' domestic help, Hemraj, was discovered dead on their roof a day later.
Both the Talwars are dentists. Mr Talwar was arrested a week after Aarushi's death but was later released on bail when the CBI said it did not have any evidence against him. He is currently on bail.
When the CBI asked the Ghaziabad court in December 2010 if it could close the Aarushi case, the judge refused.
The CBI said it still did not have enough evidence against anyone connected to the case, but it reiterated its belief that Mr Talwar was responsible for his daughter's death. The court then asked for her parents to be tried for murder and destruction of evidence.