What prompted a special Ghaziabad court to reject the CBI’s closure report in the Aarushi murder case and instead tell the agency to use it to charge her parents with killing the 13-year-old and their domestic help Hemraj Banjade on May 16, 2008?
The testimony of some key witnesses, apart from a whole lot of circumstantial evidence, a reading of the court order shows.
The court order said the CBI had established that no outsider was present in the Talwar’s Noida residence from 9.30pm on May 15 to 6am the next day during which Aarushi and Banjade were murdered. This indicated the alleged involvement of the Talwar couple.
Rajesh Talwar’s driver Umesh said that at 9.30pm on May 15, he saw “Aarushi and Nupur near the dining table and Dr (Rajesh) Talwar coming out from his bedroom”. The family’s maid Bharati said she saw only the couple standing near the dining table a little after 6am on May 16 when the crime was discovered. The case diary evidence also showed there was “no forced entry” into the flat.
“Prima facie, it appears that when the incident took place, there were four people in the house — Rajesh Talwar, Nupur Talwar, Aarushi and Hemraj, of whom Aarushi and Hemraj were found dead. There is also evidence that someone operated the internet on the night of the incident and Aarushi’s private parts were cleaned. Hemraj was dragged to the roof and its door was closed,” the court order said.
The court also attached importance to the testimony of Dr Sunil Dohre, the Noida doctor who did Aarushi’s autopsy, which established the alleged role of Rajesh’s brother Dinesh Talwar in attempting to influence him not to mention “rape” in his report. Dohre said Dinesh made him talk to someone on the phone under the impression that he was talking to “Dr Dogra, head of forensics at AIIMS, to attempt to influence him in doctoring the post-mortem report”.
Furthermore, the court said the testimonies of two Noida doctors (Rajiv Kumar Varshney and Rohit Kochar) — one a friend of Rajesh — showed Rajesh ignored their request to open the terrace door. Though they asked Rajesh for the key, he went inside the flat after taking a look at the “bloodstained door-handle”. Rajesh later told the Noida police to “look for Hemraj instead of wasting time in the flat”.
The court order also mentioned the testimony of a painter, Shohrat, who said Rajesh tried to destroy evidence by asking him to repaint the plywood partition between his bedroom and Aarushi’s.