Aarushi case: a lesson in how probe should not be carried out | comment | Hindustan Times
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Aarushi case: a lesson in how probe should not be carried out

comment Updated: Nov 26, 2013 00:21 IST
Hindustan Times
Aarushi Talwar

As far as bizarre twists and turns go, the Aarushi Talwar case has been a case to beat all murder cases in recent times. It has dragged on for over five years, much of it in full public view. It has now been found by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court that the parents are guilty of murdering their daughter and their domestic help Hemraj. However, the manner in which the investigation was conducted leaves much to be desired. Right from the time the girl’s body was discovered, the police did little to preserve the crime scene. In fact, mediapersons were allowed to trample all over the house, possibly destroying evidence. It was only later that the body of Hemraj was discovered on the roof, which again seems to suggest that the police were not thorough in their probe. The local police thought nothing of making ugly accusations about the dead girl and also her parents.

Despite the verdict, there are still many questions that are unanswered. One is the case of a missing mobile phone belonging to Aarushi, which was later found. The CBI also knew of a pillow that had Hemraj’s blood which was found at the Talwar residence, but this was only investigated over a year after it was found. Then there was a liquor bottle with blood stains from which no evidence was recovered. All this suggests a lack of professionalism on the part of the investigating authorities. There were allegations of a mysterious call to Hemraj which has not been solved. The narco-tests conducted on the other alleged suspects were done in a haphazard manner and again were televised offering no dignity to them. The parents too were subjected to narco-tests which proved clear. But using circumstantial evidence the case was carried on.

The fact remains that our police in general do not have much regard for collecting evidence in a proper manner. The concept of cordoning off the crime scene is disregarded in many cases. The media also played a role in sensationalising the Aarushi case covering all aspects of it, sometimes without substance. The CBI has not covered itself in glory, by converting its earlier closure report into a chargesheet, a practice many legal experts say is unorthodox at the very least. Now that the case has come to its conclusion, though the Talwars will make an appeal in the high court, all we can hope for is that our investigative techniques are improved so that cases are not prolonged for so long due to disputes on the nature of evidence collected.