The trial of Nupur and Rajesh Talwar for the double murder of their only child, Aarushi, and their domestic help, Hemraj, will begin today. Both were found dead at the Talwar home in a Delhi suburb in May 2008.
Aarushi's parents, who are both dentists, had appealed to the Supreme Court to dismiss their trial, ordered by a CBI court in Ghaziabad. They have been accused of murder and destruction of evidence. Mr Talwar faces an additional charge of deliberately misleading the court. However, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday morning that Nupur and Rajesh Talwar will stand trial for the double murder.
The Supreme Court judges also rejected their appeal to order a re-investigation into the case because of major lapses the first time around.
"We have found no merit in the review petition and are not inclined to interfere with the order of the trial court," the Supreme Court verdict stated. One of the two judges who decided the matter was critical of the legal strategy employed by the Talwars. "I have noticed that every single order passed by the Magistrate, having any repercussion, is being assailed right up to this Court. Of course, the right to avail a remedy under law is the right of every citizen. But such a right, cannot extend to misuse of jurisdiction," he said.
The Talwars were not in court when the order against them was passed. However, through a statement that was read out by their lawyer outside the court, they said, "We will defend our honour and that of our only child, Aarushi, vigorously in court and we will not rest till all our innocence is proved." (Read)
The Supreme Court was the last stop for the Talwars in their effort to have the case against them dismissed. The couple says that the CBI, which has been investigating the case, is pinning the double-murder on them because it has not been able to find the real killer. The evidence against them is circumstantial. The CBI believes that a golf club recovered from their home in Noida matches the injuries found on the victims. The fact that the house was not broken into on the night of the murders suggests that the couple is responsible, the agency has said in court.
The murder weapon has not been found. The CBI says that Hemraj and Aarushi were killed with "surgical precision" and has suggested that this reflects the guilt of the medically-trained Talwars.
In its version of events, the CBI has said in court that the Talwars found their daughter in a compromising position with Hemraj and killed the teenager and the domestic help in a fit of rage.
Aaurshi was found with her throat slit on the night of May 16, 2008, a few days short of her 14th birthday. Mr Talwar told the Noida police that Hemraj was missing. The Nepalese became the prime suspect and the police dispatched search teams to locate him at his village. However, a few hours later, Hemraj was found dead on the Talwars' terrace. The CBI has accused Mr Talwar of trying to mislead the investigators by pointing them in the direction of Hemraj. The court in Ghaziabad that is handling the case has accepted those charges.
Mrs Talwar was arrested on April 30 and has been in a jail in Dasna since then. Mr Talwar, who was arrested a week after the double murders and released two months later for lack of evidence, is on bail that was sanctioned a few months ago by the Supreme Court. The CBI has appealed to the Allahabad High Court to cancel his bail.