The controversy over the “pillow with cover” that had generated much interest during the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial ended on Wednesday.
A piece of cloth attached to the item mentioned that it was recovered from the “servant’s room” and not from Aarushi’s as earlier claimed by senior scientist BK Mahapatra.
The cloth bore the signatures of two officials, including inspector Pankaj Bansal from the first team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that investigated the case.
The servant’s room in question is likely to be that of Hemraj as the seizure was made from Rajesh and Nupur Talwar’s Jalvayu Vihar residence in Noida.
Parcel number 21 that contained the “pillow with cover” was opened during the cross-examination of Mahapatra before a Ghaziabad sessions court.
The “pillow with cover” was in the spotlight ever since the examination of Mahapatra started. The exhibit contained blood and indicated the presence of “partial male DNA.”
In an interesting turn of events, Mahapatra had earlier stated (on August 7, during his examination) that exhibit was recovered from Aarushi’s room.
He had cited a CBI superintendent’s letter sent to the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFSL) New Delhi on June 4, 2008. The superintendent was also from the first CBI team that probed the case.
This crucial piece of evidence was seized during an inspection carried out by a team of 12 experts, including Mahapatra, on June 1, 2008, from the Talwar residence.
The inspection-cum-seizure memo did not mention the location from where the exhibit was recovered, leading to the controversy. The recovery of the item from Aarushi’s room could have changed the complexion of the case and would have given strength to the CBI’s case against the Talwar couple.
CBI’s special public prosecutor RK Saini said its case had not suffered any setback due to the development.“We had already clarified in our counter-affidavit filed before the SC against Nupur’s review petition that it (the exhibit) was recovered from Hemraj’s room,” he added.
Defence lawyer Manoj Shishodia alleged that this was “deliberately done by the CBI to prove their case against Talwars.”