Rajkumar, one of the three suspects in the murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj, has been in Nepal for the last week, his lawyer said. But the CBI maintained it was unaware of his whereabouts.
Rajkumar is an accused in the case along with fellow Nepali Krishna and Vijay Mandal. While Rajkumar worked as a domestic help with a friend of the Talwar famly, Krishna was assistant to Aarushi's dentist father Rajesh Talwar and Vijay Mandal worked in the neighbourhood.
All three are out on bail.
Rajkumar's lawyer Naresh Yadav confirmed that he had left for Nepal on Sep 16 to visit his family.
"He had left Delhi on Sep 16 and gone to Lucknow with his uncle; from there he went to Nepal. He has been in Nepal since last week," Yadav said.
"The court has his address and the address of his relatives in the city. They even have all details of his guarantors. He has just gone back home to meet his relatives and has not run away," Yadav added.
"He will return whenever the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) requires him to."
The CBI, however, said it did not know that Rajkumar had left for Nepal.
"We do not know as of now whether Rajkumar has left for Nepal. It has to be verified. If his departure is in violation of bail terms, we will take necessary action against him as per law," CBI's Press Information Officer R.K. Gaur told IANS.
Krishna's family denied media reports that he also had returned to Nepal.
Krishna's sister-in-law Pooja said: "He is not in Nepal. He is in the city."
Aarushi was found killed with her throat slit in her Noida home on May 16. Police initially blamed the Talwar's domestic help Hemraj but backtracked after his body was found a day later on the terrace of the apartment.
Aarushi's father Rajesh Talwar was arrested a week later. On July 11, the CBI gave a clean chit to Talwar but accused Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal on the basis of narco analysis tests.
On Sep 12, Krishna and Raj Kumar were granted bail by a Ghaziabad court when CBI admitted it does not have conclusive evidence against the suspects.
After its failure to trace the murder weapon and the mobile phones of Aarushi and Hemraj, the CBI has declared a reward of Rs.100,000 for anybody leading it to the crucial pieces of evidence.
The investigating agency has now turned its probe on the Nepal links of the accused to get to the crucial evidence and has sent letters rogatory, or letters of request, to Nepal seeking assistance in locating some witnesses and the mobile phone of Hemraj, who too was a Nepali national.