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CBI under a cloud after acquittal of Parents in Arushi case

Time and again people dissatisfied with investigation of a case by the local police have approached the authorities and courts to order a CBI investigation in the belief and expectation that the result would lead to an unbiased and fair result. Yet the CBI has often been accused of being subject to pressure and incomplete presentation of facts of the case.

The latest cause for such a view is the acquittal and release of Dr. Rajesh Talwar and his wife, Dr. Nupur Talwar, on Monday, October 16, after they had spent four years in Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail for the alleged murder of their daughter, Aarushi, and domestic help, Hemraj.

The two dentists were acquitted by the Allahabad High Court in the second week of October on an appeal against their conviction by a lower court, on the ground that “the prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused appellants beyond all reasonable doubts”. The family of the two dentists say “full justice is awaited” as the investigating agencies had failed to find the killer. “The killers are still out. The Allahabad High Court has mentioned in its order, page 227 onwards”, according to Group Captain B.G.Chitnis (retired), who is the father of Dr. Nupur Talwar.

Yet the CBI is preparing the grounds for an appeal against the High Court’s verdict to defend its legal position in the case. The question is whether the Supreme Court will ask it to go back to the High Court to seek a review of its verdict, or will the case be dragged to the Supreme Court in a public interest litigation by non-governmental agencies or institutions seeking to protect the interests of children. Since the Supreme Court has repeatedly criticized publicity seeking people approaching it, will the apex court inquire of those approaching it whether there was a constitutional issue or a fundamental right was being infringed in this case.

There has also been much media hype over the Aarushi murder case and a lot of hot air rather than any genuine discussion after the High Court verdict. Is that the case with a number of current issues by self-appointed experts analysing points and counter-points with news channel anchors trying to thrash issues.

Yet the High Court has criticized the doctors who conducted the post-mortem of Aarushi and Hemraj for introducing the “sexual intercourse theory” as motive for the double murder “without an iota of evidence” and one of the doctors citing “marital experience” for his observation. But the doctor who conducted the post-mortem nine years ago after the murders is alleged to have told a Times of India newspaper reporter that he had been convinced about the theory put forward by a CBI investigator. He claimed that he was not an expert in conducting a post-mortem. This had been imposed on us”. He was a paediatrician at a super speciality institute.

 

Lalit Sethi is a Journalist of long standing and a commentator on Political and Social Issues.

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