A Chronological Sequence of Events
• Aarushi Talwar – age 13 – a class 9th student of D.P.S. Noida, was found brutally murdered, in her bedroom, on 16.05.2008, at about 6 am in the morning.
• As the domestic help Hemraj was not found in the flat, the initial suspicion was obviously on him. However, on 17.05.2008, the dead body of Hemraj was found on the terrace of the building in which the Talwars lived.
• The case went through many twists and turns, with Dr. Rajesh Talwar being arrested by the Noida Police, on 23.05.2008, and the Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, Gurdarshan Singh publicly issuing baseless, derogatory and defamatory statements against the deceased minor, Aarushi, her father, Dr. Rajesh Talwar and the deceased domestic help, Hemraj. Gurdarshan’s speculative allegations – criticized by many for being sensational and vulgar – remain in public memory as the narrative that ‘explains’ the crime.
• The CBI took over the investigation of the case under Joint Director Arun Kumar, on 01.06.2008.
• In June 2008, the CBI arrested Krishna Thadarai, Rajkumar & Vijay Mandal (all of whom resided in the neighbourhood), after determining that they were involved in the double murder of Aarushi Talwar & Hemraj.
• On 11.07.2008, the CBI filed a report before the Special Metropolitan Magistrate, Ghaziabad, asking for the release of Dr. Rajesh Talwar, on grounds that the evidence, including the scientific forensic evidence, did not in any manner, connect him with the crime.
• The application itself clearly stated that no bloodstained footprint or palm print, seen at the crime scene, matched with Dr. Rajesh Talwar.
• Dr. Talwar was released from custody by the Special Metropolitan Magistrate (CBI), on the basis of the application moved by the agency.
• Inexplicably, the first team of the CBI was removed although it is widely believed that the first team had concluded its investigation and was very close to filing a charge sheet against the three domestic helps and some high ranking UP police officials, who had misled the court in the first instance.
• A fresh investigative team, based in Dehradun and Lucknow, was set up to further investigate the case in September 2009. It is believed that the second team had a “brief” to uphold the “findings” and “theories” of the Noida police.
• Within 15 days of the second team taking over the case, critical shifts in the prosecution’s story began to surface, including shifts in the post- mortem evidence, introduction of new weapons of offence & farcical theories of cleaning up the crime scene.
• On 29.12.2010, the CBI filed a Closure Report, where, it concluded, “…the circumstantial evidence collected during investigation has critical and substantial gaps… There is absence of clear cut motive and an incomplete understanding of sequence of events…”
• The shocked parents of slain Aarushi refused to accept the closure of the case and filed a detailed 90 page Protest Petition challenging each and every investigative finding of the CBI before the Court, on 25.01.2011 (the day Dr. Rajesh Talwar was grievously attacked and injured within the Ghaziabad court premises).
• Dr. Rajesh Talwar, through his Protest Petition, asked for the case not to be closed, and prayed for further investigation in the case, to help determine the identity of the actual criminals.
• The court disallowed the Closure Report and the Protest Petition, took cognizance of the offence, and summoned both Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar to face trial in the case (Dr. Nupur Talwar was never an accused during investigation as there was no material against her).
Questions and Answers relating to accusations made in the trial.
Question: Were the Talwars “locked in”?
The CBI alleges that their investigation did not reveal any evidence of forced entry and that the Talwars were not “locked in” when their maid Bharti rang the bell on the morning of 16.05.2008 at 6:01 am.
• Witnesses have established that the main entry to the Talwars’ flat was through an iron grill door followed by a wooden main door. The iron grill door was in fact, latched from outside, when the maid, Bharti, came to the Talwar flat at 6:01 am. She conceded during cross-examination, that the CBI had tried to tutor her. During her cross-examination, Bharti said, “jo mujhe samjhaya gaya hai, vahi bayaan main yahan de rahin hoon” (I am only stating here what I have been told), which makes it amply clear that there was a dissonance between her version and what the prosecution/CBI coached her to say.
• It has never been the case of the Talwars that there was a forced entry. Hemraj’s room was next to the main entrance of the flat, with one door opening into the flat. Therefore, he had complete access to the flat and the outside, at all times.
• Hemraj had access to the outside, by opening the main wooden door of the flat and could, at any time, leave the flat, or bring in people to his room.
• The very fact that the grill door at the main entrance of the flat was latched from outside when Bharti arrived at 6:01 am, shows that the Talwars were “locked in”.
Question: Was Aarushi having an “affair” with Hemraj?
• To substantiate the allegation that 13-year-old Aarushi was having an affair with 50-year-old Hemraj, the prosecution relied on the evidence of their two post-mortem doctors, Dr. Sunil Dohre, who conducted the post- mortem examination of Aarushi, and Dr. Naresh Raj, who conducted the post-mortem examination of Hemraj.
• Dr. Sunil Dohre conducted the post-mortem examination of Aarushi on 16.05.2008 around mid-day. His post-mortem report does not detail any unusual or abnormal features, with respect to Aarushi’s sexual organs. In fact, he consistently records ‘N.A.D. – Nothing Abnormal Detected’, in column 5 pertaining to genitals, and column 14 pertaining to generation organs. Strangely, 15 months later, in September 2009, he made startling and unsubstantiated revelations to the second CBI team, that had never been documented before. His “new revelations” included the fact that Aarushi’s hymen was ruptured, healed and fimbriated, and that there was unusual dilation of the vaginal opening. This was in complete variance to his own post-mortem report dated 16th May 2008.
• After endorsing the AIIMS Expert Committee Report in September 2008, that the khukri was the most likely weapon of offence, Dr. Dohre, in September 2009, made a complete turnaround and said that the blunt injuries could have been caused by a golf stick, and the sharp injuries on the neck could have been caused by a “surgical weapon”, by a “surgically trained person”.
• Dr. Dohre admitted in court, that he was part of the 7-member expert committee of forensic doctors and experts, set up by AIIMS, where the post-mortem findings were re-examined in detail in September 2008. Dr. Dohre admitted in court that in his written post mortem report, he did not make any mention of any abnormality that he had seen in the vaginal opening or hymen, nor did he differ from his post-mortem report, while being part of the 7-member AIIMS committee.
• Dr. Dohre, in cross-examination, admitted that in none of the statements that he made to the police between May 2008 and September 2009, did he ever talk of the “new findings” that he had mentioned in court. In response to a question as to why he had not mentioned any of these findings earlier, he replied that his findings were “subjective” in nature.
Dr. Naresh Raj, who conducted the post-mortem examination of Hemraj, also stated that the weapons used in the offence were a golf stick and a surgical weapon. He also outrageously claimed that at the time of post-mortem examination, Hemraj’s penis was swollen – his reasoning in court was that at the time when he was murdered, Hemraj was either preparing for coitus or was in the act.
• The witness, Dr. Naresh Raj, admitted in court that he too had been a part of the 7-member expert committee of AIIMS in 2008, but had failed to make any of these claims before. In fact, he had endorsed the finding of the committee that the khukri was the most likely weapon of offence that was used in the crime.
• He conceded that his statement relating to the weapons of offence (golf stick and surgical weapon) were made for the first time in court. With respect to the swollen penis, Dr. Naresh Raj admits that the penis can engorge when a body is in a putrefied condition and when confronted with ‘Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology’, that a swollen penis is often seen in putrefied bodies, Dr. Naresh Raj agreed with this medical literature. When further questioned about his evidence that the swollen penis was indicative of the sexual state that Hemraj was in, at the time of his murder, he replied that it was based on his own experience as a “married man”, and not on any scientific basis.
• Contrary to the CBI’s claim that Aarushi and Hemraj were on the same bed in Aarushi’s room when they were hit, not a single drop of blood belonging to Hemraj was found in the room including on the bedsheet, pillow, blanket, mattress, etc., although Aarushi’s blood was found extensively on all these exhibits and elsewhere in the room. Is it possible to do selective cleaning of blood? The CBI fails to address this issue at all. The blood-stained footprints in the room did not match those of Dr. Rajesh Talwar.
The shifts in the post mortem findings have caused a serious miscarriage of justice and have defamed the reputation of two people who are no longer alive to speak for themselves. This has been done deliberately and without basis, by the second CBI team, to perpetrate the myth that the young child was in a relationship with a domestic help. Neither did Dr. Dohre notice anything abnormal in Aarushi’s private parts while conducting her post mortem, nor did either of the two doctors reveal any contrary evidence, while deposing before the expert forensic team of AIIMS, of which they were a part. The weapon of offence was deliberately changed from a khukri (which was recovered from Krishna’s room, in a bloody state) to a surgical weapon and a golf stick, belatedly, by the two doctors, to suit the CBI case.
Question: Was there a clean up operation?
The case of the CBI is that post occurance, the Talwars were involved in a massive clean-up of their flat and the staircase (outside their flat – in the common area) leading to the terrace.
The investigating officer A.G.L. Kaul admitted in cross-examination that there was no expert opinion to corroborate the claim that blood had been wiped from the house or from the stairs adjacent to the house.
Question: Could the Talwars have slept through the incident?
A sound stimulation test was conducted by the CBI to determine whether, with the two noisy air conditioners that were running that night, any sound from Aarushi’s room, could filter through to the parents’ room. This query was answered in the negative, as no sound could be heard in the parent’s room during the test. This document has been proved in evidence.
Question: Did Dr. Rajesh Talwar deliberately fail to provide the keys to the terrace lock to prevent detection of Hemraj’s body?
Witness Rohit Kochar, examined in court, testified that someone was asking Dr. Rajesh Talwar for the key to the terrace lock, on the morning of 16.05.2008. Dr. Rajesh Talwar was unable to give the key.
Noida Sub-Inspector Datta Ram Nanoria said in court that he was asked to try and find the key, or break open the lock. He conceded that in the first instance, he did not think it necessary and later, when asked by his superior officer, he forgot to carry out the instruction.
Investigation must be carried out by the police and not by grieving parents. No blame can be foisted on the couple for institutional failure to carry out a proper investigation. Dr. Rajesh Talwar was in a benumbed state of mind, overcome by grief, and was hardly in a position to hand over the key of the terrace lock, when he himself did not know where it was kept. Nothing stopped the police from breaking the lock and entering the terrace.
Note: The staircase to the terrace was outside the flat, in the common area, accessible to all the residents of the block. The common staircase led to the terrace. There was no access to the terrace from within the flat.
Question: Was the internet router switched on and off that night?
Dr. Rajesh Talwar used the Internet during the night of the incident. On the night of 15th and 16th, the internet router remained continuously active, with small gaps. The last activity was at 3:43 am, when the router was ultimately switched off. After that the router was switched on at 6:01 am.
“The details of the Internet activity during the daytime of 16.05.2008 shows that the router was switched on and off on a number of occasions with long gaps, even during the time when the police and the visitors were in the flat. The opinion of the expert is unable to explain this router activity on the 16th satisfactorily. Unexplained router activity on the 16th makes this piece of evidence not fully reliable”.
Source: Closure Report, filed by the CBI, page 21, paragraphs I and II
This piece of “evidence” has been discarded as “unreliable” even by the CBI, as unexplained router activity on the night of the murder, continued the next day as well, when the police and others were in the room.
Question: Who committed the crime?
The recovery of Krishna’s pillow cover and the khukri, from his room, both blood-stained, provides an answer to this question.
• Krishna’s pillow cover (purple colour) and khukri were seized from his room on 14.06.2008 and sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL, hereinafter), New Delhi, for forensic examination.
• CFSL, New Delhi, found human blood on Krishna’s pillow cover, but could not detect DNA from it.
• CFSL, New Delhi found the presence of blood on the khukri belonging to Krishna.
• CFSL, New Delhi, then sent the purple pillow cover belonging to Krishna, to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD, hereinafter), Hyderabad. Inexplicably the blood-stained khukri was never sent to CDFD, Hyderabad, for a DNA testing.
• CDFD, Hyderabad, gave its report on 06.11.2008 (2 years before the Closure Report was filed) stating categorically, that the blood found on Krishna’s purple pillow cover (given CDFD No. Z20) had DNA that matched with that of Hemraj.
• The CBI in its Closure Report, filed in December 2010, failed to mention this fact, while declaring the servants innocent.
• In February 2011, after the Talwars were summoned to face trial, they got access to this report and made its contents part of their legal challenge.
• On 17.03.2011, the CBI Inspector A.G.L. Kaul, sought a “mischievous clarification” from CDFD, Hyderabad, asking it, “whether there was a typographical error” with respect to the DNA findings of Z20 (Krishna’s purple pillow cover).
• On 24.03.2011 (exactly 6 days later), CDFD, Hyderabad, sent the CBI an unstamped document, “confirming the suggestion” of the investigating officer that the findings pertaining to Z20 was indeed a result of a “typographical error”.
• In the cross-examination of S.P.R. Prasad from CDFD, Hyderabad, it was established that no one noticed this “typographical error” for 2 years after the report was submitted and that the CDFD’s clarification was only after the CBI had “suggested” the same to it.
• He further admitted in his cross-examination that the CBI had not asked for, or received, any of the papers pertaining to how the “error” was committed in the first place. The witness could not explain in court how the error had occurred, on such a crucial piece of evidence, which alone was sufficient to implicate Krishna and establish his involvement in the crime.
Krishna and his companions lived in the immediate neighbourhood. They were arrested for their role in the twin murders, in June 2008. A blood- stained khukri was recovered from Krishna’s room and a high level committee of AIIMS concluded that the khukri was the most likely weapon used in the crime, capable of inflicting the blunt and sharp injury on Aarushi and Hemraj. The khukri, though blood-stained, was never sent for DNA examination, even though the Talwars had repeatedly petitioned the CBI and the court, for the same. More importantly, the blood-stained pillow cover recovered from the room of Krishna, matched the blood and DNA of the deceased Hemraj. The CBI, at first, did not notice these findings, and when informed of the same, got the forensic laboratory (CDFD, Hyderabad), which works under the control of the CBI, to falsely “admit” that the findings were based on a “typographical error”.
The scientific tests conducted on the Talwars and the domestic helps – What did they reveal?
• Mr. Fartyal, one of the CBI‘s investigating officers in the case, admitted that the three servants had confessed to the crime pursuant to which they were arrested, their disclosure statements were recorded and vital recoveries were made.
• Mr. Vijay Kumar, another investigating officer, stated that “deception” was found in the Lie Detector Test, Brain Mapping Test, and Narco-Analysis Tests conducted on Krishna Thadarai, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal, which clearly indicated their involvement in the crime.
• No deception was found in any of the scientific tests conducted on the parents. The CBI fought tooth and nail, and succeeded in defeating the right of the Talwars to summon and place these reports before the Trial Court, in their original form.
• All of this can only show that the CBI is hiding more than it is revealing, and the evidence clearly implicates persons other than the parents of the deceased Aarushi.
The Talwars have been grievously wronged. Aarushi as well as Hemraj have been grievously wronged. This is not even a fraction of their story. But for a story to be heard and a fair trial to be held, someone ought to have given them a just hearing. That never happened. The unrelenting focus of the media on them, and the ham-handedness of the investigative agencies, has resulted in grave miscarriage of justice. The Talwars have found themselves at the receiving end of extreme media prejudice and hostility, with salacious and vulgar gossip masquerading as facts and evidence. The so-called “factual reporting” by the media has deliberately been one-sided, and based on leaks from a hostile prosecuting agency. In such a charged atmosphere, truth is often a casualty.
The grave miscarriage of justice will haunt us for years to come.