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The Crime Scene and Discovery of Aarushi Talwar Murder Case

Aarushi Talwar Murder Case:

(Dr. (Smt.) Nupur Talwar Vs State Of U.P. And Anr. (2017):
Citation: (1984) 2 SCC 627

Facts Of The Case:
Aarushi Talwar (deceased) a 14-year-old girl was a student at Delhi Public School, Noida. She was an IVF (in vitro fertilisation) baby and the daughter of dentists Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar. She was the sole child of a dentist couple who resided in the same flat where she was discovered horribly killed. On May 16, at 6:00 AM, the body of Aarushi was discovered in L-32, Jalayu Vihar Flats in Sector 25 Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The family's missing domestic helper, Hemraj, was mentioned as the main suspect at that time in the F.I.R. by the father, Rajesh Talwar. Hemraj's dead body was discovered on the terrace the following day, on May 17. Hemraj resided in the apartment's utility room and worked as a chef and domestic worker for the Talwar family. Hemraj was no longer a suspect in the death of Aarushi Talwar once the body of his decomposing corpse was found; instead, Aarushi's parents were the main suspects.

The Noida Police mishandled the investigation on numerous fronts on May 23, 2008, giving media access to the crime scene before the evidence was gathered. Dr Rajesh Talwar, Aarushi's father, also was detained by the Noida police for the double homicide.

At the parent's request, the case was turned over to the CBI on June 1, 2008. Four men who worked as domestic servants for the Talwars or their relatives and neighbours were detained by the CBI in June 2008. Tests for narcotics proved to be inconclusive, and the four were later released for a lack of evidence. The CBI suspected the Talwar couple on the basis of circumstantial evidence.

  • Whether the issue of the process by the Magistrate under Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code was valid after the supreme investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation in its end report prayed for the closure of the case due to lack of substantial evidence?
  • Whether the investigation conducted by the Investigating agency was questionable?
  • Whether a person can be convicted based on the last seen theory without substantial evidence?
  • Whether a crime can be established without mens rea or motive?
  • Whether the Narco-Analysis Test is admissible?

Arguments Advanced:
The Magistrate summoned the victim's parents despite the CBI's final report asking for the case to be closed and the victim's father, calling for further investigation. Hence, it was determined that, in accordance with Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Magistrate may take cognizance of an offence and issue the process if he is satisfied that there is a sufficient basis for doing so.

The question in the investigation began when the investigation was under the Noida police. The police collected a Scotch bottle, blood-stained bedsheets and pillowcases from the Talwar house and the bed-sheet that covered Hemraj's body, however, they labelled them in such a way that the forensic results were confusing. They could not get a clear fingerprint from the bottle of Scotch. Initially, the Police dismissed blood stains on the terrace and called them "paan stains", later they were wiped and cleaned.

The journalists were allowed to walk all over the terrace and click photographs thus contaminating the evidence. CBI collected bloodied water from the cooler and scraped the blood stains from the roof which were earlier missed by the Noida police. The investigating team created a lot of confusion regarding the blood of Hemraj found on the pillow cover.

The defence said the pillow cover was recovered from Krishna's room but the prosecution claimed it was recovered from Aarushi's room. Thus one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence was also contaminated. Aarushi's sexual assault was not included in the post-mortem report, but Dr Sunil later mentioned an open vaginal cavity and white discharge in his testimony.

Dr Naresh Raj assumed that Hemraj was having or about to have sexual activity because of the enlarged penis. His assumption was unfounded medically, making it medical heresy. The clothing worn by the Talwars the night of the crime was collected by CBI while being entirely disregarded by the Noida police.

The police never collected the sample section of a wall existing between the room of the victim and her parents and thus the theories of parents being able to or not being able to hear the sound from their daughter's room could not be proved.

Last seen theory is a jurisprudential concept where the accused can be proven guilty if, Accused was the last person who was seen with the victim. In this case, since the parents were the only 2 surviving inhabitants of the house, the burden of proof was shifted from the prosecution to them as the court held that they could only hold the knowledge of the crime.

The CBI found it suspicious that the parent didn't hear any noise from Aarushi's room on the night she was murdered. When questioned about this, the parents defended themselves by stating that the disturbance from their Air- Conditioner made it difficult to hear anything outside their room.

However, CBI presumed that the parents weren't sleeping as the internet router was turned on quite a few times that night, After confirming that Rajesh had been online till midnight on 15th May, the CBI went forward and took the Talwars under custody. They were later produced before the Ghaziabad General Sessions Court. The fact that the keys to Aarushi's room were only available to the Talwars, escalated the scepticism of the CBI.

The accused cannot be convicted without the guilty mind being established. In this case, the prosecution couldn't prove the motive of the Parents to kill their own daughter. The prosecution put forth the hypothesis that they found their daughter in a compromising position with their servant and thus, in a fit of rage they killed both of them, however, no evidence was found to support this contention. In the case of Deep Kara v. State of Maharashtra and Another, the court held that in the absence of Mens Rea, the alleged offence is not maintainable against the applicants.

The constitutional validity of the narco-analysis test was discussed in the Selviv case, the Supreme Court ruled that these tests are violative of Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution, or the right against self-incrimination, but in the process of gathering information, they can assist the investigating authorities in preventing criminal activities in the future and in situations where it is challenging to obtain evidence using conventional methods.

Krishna was identified as a suspect in the case by the CBI as their investigation progressed, and as a result, a narcotics analysis was carried out. Nevertheless, the Court declined to take the test into consideration, therefore no additional evidence could be utilised to convict Krishna.

The Sessions court's decision, which took into account the information supplied by the CBI, found the Talwars responsible for the deaths of Aarushi and Hemraj. The Talwar family, who felt they had been subjected to wrongful detention, brought a case before the Allahabad High Court. The Talwars were pronounced innocent and given the benefit of the doubt when their case was reheard by the High Court.

The court ruled that the Talwars must be released right away because the CBI's findings were all just speculations and no concrete evidence was offered. Given the circumstances, it is reasonable to believe that the investigation team did not adequately ensure that the crime scene was investigated after reviewing the case as a whole and the reports from the investigation branch.

The investigating officer did not properly gather information from the router about how people were using the internet. Furthermore, they didn't look into the crime scene. They hadn't had time to explore the terrace on the first day. Hemraj's dead body could have been discovered if it had been done earlier.

The garments that the Talwar couple were wearing at the time were not confiscated; instead, they were taken after a month. The golf club, which was used in the suspected murder, was also found decades after the crime. Additionally, on the morning of May 16, 2008, the investigating officer and the police neglected to freeze the scene and instead allowed a large number of visitors, intruders, and media personnel into the home, tampering with the evidence.

The Aarushi Talwar murder case is credited to have been one of the most paradoxical cases the Indian Judiciary has ever witnessed. The numerous flaws and inconsistencies present in this case, have made this an unsolvable enigma till date. Poor investigation and poor functioning of the law enforcing agencies, which were one of the main highlights of this case, let down the faith people have in the process of reinstating justice.

The answer to the question 'Who killed Aarushi Talwar?' remains unanswered. In the above situation, it can be concluded that the court has passed a judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence but has failed to appreciate the evidence.

To convict on the basis of circumstantial evidence the court must appreciate all the evidences of the circumstances which point towards the guilt of the accused. All the evidences have to point towards the guilt of the accused. Here it is not the case. After analysing, it could be said that this was a case full of flaws, from gathering pieces of evidence to the plotting of various versions of the crime scene.

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