Faced with imminent arrest in connection with the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in May 2008 in Noida, dentist couple Dr Rajesh and Dr Nupur Talwar got a reprieve on Saturday with the Supreme Court staying the criminal proceedings against them.
In a late evening hearing in the Supreme Court, a bench of justice B Sudershan Reddy and justice SS Nijjar stayed all the proceedings relating to the summoning of the Talwar couple and of the bailable warrants issued against them by a Ghaziabad court.
The bench, however, asked the couple to surrender their passports before the trial court by Monday. The trial court had ordered them to appear before it on March 22.
The SC order came after senior counsel Pinaki Mishra submitted on behalf of the Talwars that they feared the CBI might arrest them, if the apex court did not give them protection.
Mishra pointed out that Rajesh Talwar was still recovering after being attacked by a sharp-edged weapon in Ghaziabad court campus and doctors had advised him eight-week rest.
The Talwars had approached the Supreme Court for stay of criminal proceedings against them in the case. They had challenged the Allahabad high court's order refusing to stay the proceedings before a CBI court in Ghaziabad.
The Allahabad high court had on Friday dismissed their petition for quashing of the proceedings initiated by the lower court. While refusing the CBI's closure report, the trial court had summoned the Talwars as accused in the case.
The high court said it could not prohibit the magistrate from taking cognisance of a case if prima facie it appeared that there was sufficient evidence against a person.
The high court had asked Nupur Talwar, who submitted she had been summoned despite never having been called for interrogation or having been named as an accused in CBI's closure report, to appear before the trial court within two weeks.