Ghaziabad: Nupur Talwar
broke down in a Ghaziabad court today and was seen being comforted by her husband Rajesh; the couple is accused of murdering their 13-year-old daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj at their home in a Delhi suburb in May 2008. Their trial will begin most likely on May 9, when the next hearing in the case is scheduled. The Talwars' lawyers argued that they have not been given key documents by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case. That meant that the process to initiate their trial has been pushed back by a few days.
Yesterday, a court refused to grant Mrs Talwar bail on the grounds that she may "try to flee" or tamper with evidence.
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will decide whether to over-rule that verdict. Judges there will also consider an application by the Talwars to have their trial cancelled. They were made co-accused in the double-murder at their home in February last year. Judge Preeti Singh who heads a special CBI court said they would be tried for murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy. The couple has consistently argued their innocence. Mr Talwar was granted bail by the Supreme Court months ago; on Monday, the Allahabad High Court will decide whether to cancel his bail, as requested by the CBI.
The warrant that led to Mrs Talwar's arrest was issued by Judge Singh earlier this month after the former ignored her summons to appear in court. Mrs Talwar's lawyers said that because the Supreme Court is considering whether to cancel her trial, she was not needed in the lower court. Judge Singh disagreed. And then last week, so did the Supreme Court, which ordered Mrs Talwar to surrender or appear in the CBI court.
The murders of 13-year-old Aarushi and Hemraj, a Nepali national, have turned into one of India's biggest unsolved mysteries. The weapons used to kill them remain missing. In the lengthy investigation, the CBI has contradicted itself several times. The Talwars have throughout argued that they are innocent, and are being framed by the CBI because it has not been able to track down the real killers.
Aarushi was found dead in her bedroom at the Talwars' apartment in May 2008. Their domestic help Hemraj was missing and became the main suspect. But hours later, his body was discovered on the Talwars' roof. Mr Talwar was then arrested. The case was transferred to the CBI after gross negligence by the Noida police. In July 2008, the CBI decided that there was not enough evidence against Mr Talwar, and he was released from prison. The CBI then arrested four men who worked for the Talwars and their neighbours. But the CBI could not find conclusive evidence against them either and they were also released from prison.
In December 2010, the CBI asked the court of Judge Singh for permission to close its investigation. The agency said it did not have enough evidence to charge anyone with the murders of Aarushi and Hemraj, but it told Judge Singh that it believes Mr Talwar is guilty. She then ordered that the Talwars would stand trial for the double murder.