CBI plea against Talwars wrong

The CBI’s petition in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the 2008 Aarushi murder case is wrong and is another reminder of the gross mishandling of the investigation of the case. The court has issued notice to the Talwars, and if the case is re-opened, it will only mean continued injustice and harassment of the parents. Last year, the Allahabad high court acquitted them of all charges, after a CBI court had, in 2013, convicted them of killing Aarushi and their domestic servant Hemraj and sentenced them to life imprisonment. They spent four years in jail before being acquitted by the high court. The high court acquitted the Talwars because the case against them was not proved beyond doubt. But what was clearly beyond doubt was that the CBI, and the Noida police, had botched up the investigation and badly mismanaged it. 

The entire case was based on circumstantial evidences. These circumstantial evidences had gaps and inconsistencies which were sought to be covered up with conjectures and probabilities. The bungling started with the Noida police, which discovered the dead body of Hemraj two days after he was killed. Evidence was not collected properly and it was even tampered with. The CBI did not do better than the police and it conducted itself in many questionable ways. Established processes and procedures of investigation were not followed, evidence was sought to be created and forensic analysis was messed up. Investigating officers were changed mid-course. Many of the claims and theories that the CBI made could not be verified and defended. With a lot of evidence turning out to be unreliable, the case almost entirely rested on the argument that no outsider could have entered the house at night to commit the crime. But the high court pointed out that the prosecution could not prove that no-one entered the house either. This was crucial in view of the weakness of other pieces of evidence presented as proof of guilt.

The case had attracted intense and sustained national attention. The CBI may have been under pressure to produce a result. But instead of taking the easy way out for that, it should have applied itself better and made a convincing case that withstood legal and judicial scrutiny. To present a case full of cracks and holes on a murder charge which can attract the most extreme punishment is bad, and to persist with it is worse. The question who killed Aarushi and Hemraj is still wide open, and the clumsy efforts made till now and being pursued by the CBI will not give the answer or answers. 

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CBI plea against Talwars wrong

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