The CBI probe was full of lapses, says Talwar's lawyer
After two and a half years of messy investigations, first by a state police department and then by the country's premier investigating agency, the parents of Aarushi Talwar have been declared as prime suspects in her murder. The 'prime suspects' kept changing over the years and clean chits were given out like candy.
In this interview with Rediff.com's Sahim Salim, the Talwars' counsel, Satish Tamta, says that the CBI's investigations were shoddy, had a lot of loopholes and some deliberate lapses.
What are your comments on the special CBI court's declaration of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar as prime accused in their daughter's murder? Does this not mean that the court approves the CBI's line of investigation?
I have not had a chance of reading the order passed as yet. If the court has passed an order, it has to be respected and whatever remedies are available to us under the law, we will advise our clients accordingly.
If we find that the order is not in consonance with our petition and the court's proceedings, we will see what we can do to impune the order in a superior court and then whatever decision the court takes, we will respect it.
What is your next course of action?
It depends on the order passed. We can file a revision petition in the high court. So far as the observation regarding the summoning and the dismissal of the closure are concerned, they are subject to revision by the superior court. These are the first available forums for us. In case our clients feel that going to the Allahabad High Court is better, we will approach the high court, though the hierarchy goes from the magistrate to the sessions court and then to the high court.
Image: File photo of Aarushi Talwar
'What kind of investigation is this?
The CBI never visited the scene of crime in the first instance, when the crime was reported. They came into the picture only in June, whereas the incident was reported about half a month before on the intervening night of 15th and 16th May.
They had not verified or witnessed the scene of crime as soon as it was reported. So the best thing they could have done was to examine the senior officers of Uttar Pradesh police, who had actually arrived at the spot after Arushi was found murdered. Whenever a murder or a crime is reported, the first thing the investigating officer has to do make a visual assessment of the case in terms of whether it was a suicidal case or a homicidal case and then get a case registered.
In this case, there was a murder of a child, a servant was missing and the parents were soft targets. So obviously senior policemen had arrived at the scene and made their own assessment. These officers were never examined by the CBI. In the entire closure report, the CBI has not mentioned the first investigating officer of the case, Datta Ram Nanoria. There is no word in the entire report that this gentleman, who was the first officer to arrive at the crime scene, was examined by the CBI.
There are many other lapses like these. They seized the mattress, the linen and all other things in that room on the 16th itself. Now all those items are lying on the roof the mattress and the linen the girl was using on the night she was murdered. These are some serious lapses.
In early June, the CBI team went there and reconstructed everything with their experts at midnight. They switched on both the air conditioners of the room, locked the rooms and then did a sound reconstruction. They had observed that they could not hear anything in the other room even after going to the extent of using a hammer in the room of crime. This is a very strong thing because they have been asking of the Talwars why they did not hear anything inspite of being in another room in the same house.
I know about this report for a fact because it was signed at the time by the inmates in the house along with officers and experts. Another point is that they maintain there was no forceful entry. So who has said or claimed that there was a forceful entry? It was repeatedly pointed out to them that Hemraj's food was lying unconsumed in the kitchen. He had not eaten, obviously meaning that he was expecting somebody. So after the Talwars retired to their room, someone he was expecting came or someone came in unexpectantly, whom he had to entertain.
The fact remains that the Talwars retired to their room and locked it as their air conditioner was on. There were many calls made to Hemraj that day, which the Talwars could not hear. Interestingly, Hemraj's very phone is active somewhere in Punjab, according to the closure report. What kind of investigation is this then?
Image: The Talwars outside the court in Ghaziabad
'The CBI has no evidence'
Yes, the CBI did not examine whether the details given by the doctor who examined the bodies of the girl and later the servant, were true. These details were not verified for any possible lapses.
They are talking about the private parts being washed. This was never mentioned on paper by the doctor either in the post mortem report or any other paper. As they say, witnesses may lie, but documents don't. This observation of private parts being cleaned was only mentioned later, after about six months of the crime, when in September, 2009, another team came into the investigation.
Till that time, there is nothing in the closure report says that anything was said by the doctor contrary to what he had mentioned in his initial report.
The CBI's initial investigation also pointed fingers at neighboring domestic helps. They have now been given a clean chit. Do you think this is a lapse as well?
If they got a lead in the narco analysis, they were not able to follow it and get evidence. It is their failure to collect the evidence. Interestingly, in the case of Talwars, they say they don't have any evidence and in the case of the domestic helps also they have no evidence.
They (CBI) are saying that they suspect, but they have no evidence. In the narco analysis, there are certain things that they did not confirm. Like the narco analysis test says that Krishna was wearing a black t-shirt. Now where is that black t-shirt? It was never seized. In a court of law, this evidence may not be admissible, but why are they not following up a lead they got?
As far as an investigating agency is concerned, they can use the tests to continue their investigations. The CBI says that the domestic helps had no interaction amongst themselves. But the telephone records and other such crucial records say that they were constantly in touch with each other.
Krishna, Hemraj and Raj Kumar were employed from the same agency. Secondly, Hemraj used to visit the clinic in the afternoon. It was his job to open the clinic. So his interaction with Krishna was regular.
'The CBI is acting like a layman'
While giving a clean chit to him, the CBi said that no evidence was found in any of the scientific tests, like fingerprints, palm prints, brain mapping, lie detector tests, blood sample and other tests.
They said there was nothing to connect him with the crime. The biggest change was the change in the CBI team. The team changed barely a week before the first team was to file a chargesheet. The director changed and the entire team changed and they came out with a totally different line of investigation. Now the investigating agency is talking like a layman (regarding the scientific tests).
They say that there were four people in the house, two are dead and it rests on the other two in the house to explain. The fact remains that these investigations all have been conducted. Now move beyond that and collect evidence. They cannot create theories and see what appeals to them.
Image: Rajesh Talwar being taken into police custody