Central Bureau of Investigation's closure report in the 2008 twin murder case of Noida dentist Rajesh Talwar's daughter Aarushi and their domestic servant Hemraj on Thursday evoked mixed reactions from legal experts.
Former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan viewed it as CBI's "failure", while former Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh and advocate Meenakshi Lekhi imputed motives to CBI's move to close the case.
Senior advocate and criminal lawyer Sushil Kumar, however, said that the evidence in the case was lost at the initial stage and there was not much that the CBI could have done in the case.
"If CBI is not able to find any evidence in the case despite being the premier investigating agency of the country and is filing its closure report, it means that the case has reached a dead end. It is CBI's failure," Bhushan said.
Advocate Lekhi alleged that the probe agency is trying to conceal something.
"It appeared from reading the circumstances that somebody more powerful was present at the locale (on the fateful day). It is now on a cover-up operation. We all know how CBI is used and misused," she said.
Singh said that CBI might not have probed this case with due priority.
"CBI is the premier investigating agency and has lot of expertise to investigate. I think the CBI might not have given due priority that the case needed to crack it and that's why they have now filed the closure report," he said.
Pointing out that most of the evidence were lost at the beginning when the case was being investigated by the Uttar Pradesh police, Kumar said not much might have been left for the CBI to do in the case.
Asked if the CBI could should have roped in foreign investigative agencies like Federal Bureau of Investigation or Scotland Yard for solving the case, the legal experts said it is the will and not the expertise which our probe agency lacked.
"It is not that the CBI is incompetent but it is a misused lot. It is very powerful to catch on with the criminals. In this case, strangely enough, the parents -- living in three-bedroom house -- had failed even to follow the blood trail. It was done by a police officer-cum-neighbour to discover the domestic help's murder," Lekhi said.
The CBI had on Wednesday filed its closure report in a special court in Ghaziabad in the sensational case citing lack of evidence to nail suspect.
Aarushi, the 14-year-old daughter of dentist couple -- Rajesh and Nupur -- was found dead at their residence at Jalwayu Vihar in Noida near Delhi on May 16, 2008. Body of their domestic servant 45-year old Yam Prasad alias Hemraj, earlier seen as a suspect, was found on the terrace next day.
The experts also said that the final call on CBI's closure report will be taken only by the court as the victims' family members may also file the protest petition.
"Even though it is CBI's failure that it could not collect the evidence, it is now up to the court to accept or reject the closure report filed by the CBI."
"The court can also reject the closure report and ask the investigating agency to re-investigate the case. If there is something in the closure report or in the case diary which the court deemed to be fit for further probe, then it may ask the CBI to re-investigate it," Singh said.
Likewise, Kumar also opined that the Talwars may file the protest petition if they want the CBI to reinvestigate the case.