Delhi Police has handed over the mobile phone to CBI. Aarushi's mobile phone was missing since her murder in May 2008.
The Special Operations Group of Delhi Police's Crime Branch recovered the mobile phone from Bulandshahr on Saturday and handed it over to CBI which is investigating the case, police sources said.
The phone could provide vital clues about the murder as investigators want to ascertain the identity of the people the victim had called on the day when she was murdered.
"We have recovered the mobile phone. We have handed it over to CBI which is investigating the case," Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said. However, he refused to provide further details.
A senior police official said the mobile phone is expected to provide vital information to CBI.
Police sources say that a maid in Noida had given the phone to her brother, and that the phone was activated in February this year through a new SIM card.
The case has seen many twists and turns in the past and only couple of weeks back, NDTV exposed that Aarushi's vaginal swab was swapped.
CBI then described this as a genuine mistake and not a cover-up. The CBI said the doctor who took Aarushi's vaginal samples forgot to enter this in his records. Then, the pathologist who preserved the sample used a slide which had another sample.
Interestingly, the doctor who made that mistake is Dr Richa Saxena, who is a friend of Aarushi's mother, Nupur Talwar.
Aarushi, the daughter of dentist couple of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, was found murdered at her Noida home as also their domestic help Hemraj who was initially suspected of the crime.
The double murder had its share of controversy from day one of the investigations.
Rajesh Talwar speaks
Rajesh Talwar, father of teenaged girl Aarushi, who was murdered last year at her Noida home, on Monday said the recovery of his daughter's mobile from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh is like a "ray of hope" for the unsolved case.
"We have been praying since last year. The recovery of the mobile phone is a ray of hope for us that the culprits will be caught. I thank god for this breakthrough," Rajesh said.
He said he was happy that some "breakthrough" has been achieved in the case.
Aarushi's aunt Vandana Talwar said the recovery of the phone, which is the first physical evidence in the case, will pave the way for getting to the real accused.
"The phone might not contain any valuable information after all this while but what is important is to trace it back to the first person through whom the phone has reached Bulandsahhr. It is better than having nothing at all," Vandana said.
She said the recovery of the phone should help the CBI to reach the ultimate goal of solving the case.
Asked if the family was upset with the way the investigations into the case has been going on with the CBI not been able to garner any evidence, Rajesh said, "CBI is our only hope. We want the entire country to pray for the case to be solved as there is tremendous power in prayers.
Aarushi's father was arrested by Noida Police for allegedly murdering his daughter.
CBI, which started investigating the case after it was transferred to it by Uttar Pradesh government, had accused Hemraj and three others of killing the teenager.
CBI arrested the three men but gave a clean chit to Talwar. However, CBI could not file any chargesheet in the case, which led to the release of all the three on bail.
"The recovery of the phone is a first step towards getting to the culprits with real evidence," Vandana said. (With PTI inputs)