The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed Rajesh and Nupur Talwar’s plea that the trial in their daughter Aarushi Talwar’s murder be transferred from the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad to New Delhi.
An apex bench of justices BS Chauhan and EJS Khehar said the reason of inconvenience raised by the dentist couple for seeking the transfer of the trial from Ghaziabad to Delhi was not a valid ground.
The order pronounced by Justice Khehar said that the security available to the Talwar couple was adequate.
The court directed the trial court judge to ensure that only the parties in the case and their counsel would be present during the hearing of the case.
The dentist couple had moved the apex court seeking the transfer of trial on the grounds of their personal security, and that a large number of witnesses in the case resided in Delhi.
Aarushi, 14, was found brutally murdered in the Talwars’ Noida residence on May 16, 2008. The body of their domestic help Hemraj was found the next day from the terrace of the house.
The judgement was delivered by a bench of justices BS Chauhan and JS Khehar which had on February 27 reserved its order on the couple’s plea.
Pleading to shift the trial to Delhi, the couple had submitted it has been a traumatic experience for them to go to Ghaziabad to face the trial and that they also face security threat there.
They had submitted it would be better to hold the trial in the national capital as it would not only be convenient for them but also for the witnesses and the prosecuting agency CBI.
CBI had, however, opposed the plea, saying there has been an attempt by the couple to delay the trial and has assured the court that proper security arrangement would be made for them in Ghaziabad.
It had said there were some hidden motives behind the filing of the plea and that the petition for transfer of the trial of the case might have been filed as section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code (relating to anticipatory bail) is not applicable in Uttar Pradesh.
On January 6, the court had cleared the decks for the couple’s trial in the murder case by dismissing their plea to quash criminal proceedings against them.
The bench had refused to interfere with the lower court’s order, saying there was nothing wrong in the magistrate’s order of taking cognisance of the chargesheet summoning them.
14-year-old Aarushi, the only daughter of the Talwars, was found dead at the family’s Noida residence on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008.
The body of the Talwars’ servant, Hemraj, was found next day on the terrace. The investigation in the case was initially carried out by Uttar Pradesh police which had arrested Rajesh Talwar on May 23, 2008.
The probe was handed over to CBI on May 29, 2008, and Rajesh Talwar was granted bail by the Ghaziabad court on July 11, 2008.
CBI, after probing the murder for over two and half years, had filed its closure report in the case in the Ghaziabad Special CBI court saying it had been unable to find evidence to prosecute the Talwars.
The Ghaziabad trial court had, however, rejected the agency’s closure report saying there was enough prima facie material in CBI’s report to put the couple on trial and had issued summons to them.