Why the Aarushi Talwar case is a rape of justice - Sagarika Ghose’ Blog
bestwebdirectory.info» News» Aarushi's murder trial and a tale about India back seven years to the night when Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj Banjade's lives slashed the memory and character of the 13 year old and a trusted house servant. . she asked him about details of the 'affair' between Aarushi and Hemraj. The Noida double murder case refers to the unsolved murders of year-old girl Aarushi Talwar and year-old Hemraj Banjade, Rajesh's alleged extra- marital affair had led to his blackmail by Hemraj and a confrontation with Aarushi. The Noida double murder case refers to the murder of year-old Aarushi Talwar affair had led to his blackmail by Hemraj and a confrontation with Aarushi. .. This was important since Rajesh was released based on Nupur's trust in him.
As middle class people we are deeply conservative, in our attitudes towards institutions, the judiciary, the army As he describes in his book, Ghaziabad's haphazard courtrooms, sorely lacked any feeling of judicial majesty and were chaotic, dirty and hot.
The court proceedings too were dismaying to watch and hear, because they seemed, he observed, imbalanced and indifferent. The other thing is, that while you are reporting something that is traumatic and grim, to take you through that moment, or situation, it is best to observe the moments that are utterly comic. And I really enjoy reporting those moments because they offer relief. There is something about it, which was very compelling to watch at work.
It was a case that India talked about a lot and often in sentences where the case was invariably prefixed with the word 'sensational. It is not particularly apparent why so many Indians gained such strong views about the case. Why did people so easily believe the Talwars, image, below, were guilty?
Was it because we tend to judge real life through the lens of Bollywood and expect high emotions and filmi plots like honour killings and deaths with dental scapula to be plausible?
Was Aarushi Talwar murder verdict a miscarriage of justice?
Why could no one believe that someone from outside might have gotten into Aarushi's bedroom and killed her? I think you missed out one. The media," says Sen. The lack of curiosity. Just the idea that: If I am receiving information from an official, then it must be true.
Even if the official will remain unnamed. He builds a deniability into it any conversation I have with him. There is quite a lot of this. The lack of questioning of the line being presented by State players, in this case. This was a source of sadness to me.
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Because I have been a journalist all my life. It is something I used to wonder: So have we lost it completely? Is this really how we work? I had several moments of reflection about this.
So the media in turn will influence all the players -- and I include everybody in this -- investigators, judiciary, everybody. They are not outside the influence of the media -- all of them.
They pick up on that public mood as well and they act accordingly. Once they act accordingly, the media again picks it up: This is what happened to the Talwars. The bizarre events of the trial led him quite easily to that conclusion. It was hard not to feel that way when, day after day, he witnessed the flaws, he alleged, in the slapdash, stop-start investigation, the crucially missed evidence, the quick, random conclusions, and, what he felt was, severely biased testimony by the prosecutor.
He believed that when the CBI finding itself short of clues, confessions the backbone often apparently of many an Indian criminal case and time -- and under pressure from the media because it was a high profile case -- took the easy way out and went after the only suspects left, the Talwars, since the others had been let off.
Sen studied the court and investigation documents, available in the public domain, and interviewed as many people as he could, relating to the case, to give the truth to his conclusions. What finally made Sen sure the Talwars were innocent?
Aarushi trial: A double murder of forensics and investigation - Firstpost
What were the most convincing pieces of evidence that exonerated the Talwars in his eyes? The whole case is laid out in that document. And Hemraj's pillow cover was found in Aarushi's room.
That is a factual error. A really disastrous factual error. I found that shocking. And that the investigators would make no efforts at all to let him know that: This is not the case. The evidence does not say this. That's one document; shocking document. I speak of Hemraj's blood being found on Hemraj's friend, who lived nearby Krishna's pillow cover, several houses away. This is completely missed. It is an error of omission, by people we regard as the best investigators in the country. The other thing I was shocked by -- this is something else, it is a propriety issue.
I was quite shocked with what the Allahabad high court judge told the Talwars, in open court, when the counsel pleaded that they are moral citizens, they don't have a record, and they won't repeat the crime. That speaks of something other than what the Supreme Court calls the majesty of the court, of our judicial system. This is a high court. Not a small court. A high court of the most populous state in India, Uttar Pradesh. For millions of people that's their court. I was shocked by that.
He carefully unearthed details of their past cases, how they were solved and dug for information that would provide an insight into their efficiency, or lack of, while solving the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case. The journalist collected a slew of small and large details, about their functioning, like, for instance, the fact that Kaul absurdly -- and in a gesture which Sen says shows lack of propriety and smacks of bullying -- decided to create a special e-mail ID he already had a CBI official address named hemraj.
Or the fact that a post-mortem report was tabled in which the pathologist, who did Aarushi's autopsy, utilised the eye-witness account of two sanitation workers sweepersto verify if the cervix was dilated and actually visible.
In chronicling these methods, the sloppiness of police and CBI technique was unfavourably paraded. The book Aarushi therefore has perhaps done a competent job of exposing the workings of the CBI and the police.
The lazy way in which investigations happen. Right from the beginning there was little doubt that the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case -- with the shockingly delayed discovery of Hemraj's body -- was one of India's least competent police investigations to begin with.
But Sen made sure his account was nothing short of damning when it came to the reputation of a certain section of the CBI. Surprisingly, there have been no reactions from the CBI since the book released. That many of the players involved in this particular case are scattered and the establishment, as it is now, is not going to put themselves out to defending the players or attacking me or whatever.
Slightly wary of doing that. They are not enthusiastic about taking up a cause for ex-colleagues, which is what I have picked up They could have easily said look this book is a pack of lies They overwhelmingly point in one direction. That is not something I have made up.
Most of these things were actually public documents Most of the book is based on public records, public documents. The evidence is stacked on one side, overwhelmingly.
The case is built on a couple of things. On the people in the case So you have the investigator. You have the forensic scientist.
Experts who are saying this about the Talwars. You have this trident of individuals You place the Talwars in that context, you can see for yourself this was how it happened. Cheerleading all three people was the media. Once you set this momentum in motion, it moves on its own. You can't stop it. Anything that has to do with the State being involved, with the police being involved We don't like dealing with the State.
How often do we deal with the State? I can think of only a couple of situations possibly where I have to deal with the State. One is when I apply for a passport, then I have to go and queue up. The other is on the road in traffic. Both are unpleasant experiences Why is that people pass a dying man hurt in a car accident on the road? Because by picking him up and taking him to the police station will be just the beginning of your troubles.
He says he did little else, utterly obsessed with getting each little detail nailed down, losing touch with friends and even the news. When he started covering the court proceedings -- Mumbai Mirror Editor Meenal Baghel suggested he do so, because she said it would make a great narrative and Sen says "She's a brilliant story spotter" -- and he got "sucked in.
The Talwars also asked for a Touch DNA test on the golf club that was allegedly used as the murder weapon. They even offered to pay for these tests. It analyses skin cells left behind when assailants touch victims, weapons or anything else at a crime scene. This technique has dramatically increased the number of items of evidence that can be used for DNA detection. In a similar case of the murder of a six year old child in the United States, this method cleared the cloud of suspicion that hung over the child's family for 12 years.
Being a sensitive test, a profile can be obtained from only a few cells - from a few skin cells or sweat from a fingerprint. In this case, it was wiser not to use this technique as the increased sensitivity of LCN also increases the risks posed by contamination of the samples. Even breathing on a sample may contaminate it enough to render the final profile unusable. Having said that, there have been instances in the UK where presumably unsolvable crimes were opened after decades and the criminal could still be traced through this method.
Here, the Supreme Court rejected the Talwars' appeal, and refused to order any further investigation. Both Nupur and Rajesh Talwar easily cleared the tests. They also showed no knowledge of the crime. Krishna an assistant at the Talwars' clinicRajkumar and Vijay domestic servants. According to the CBI, the three men were let in the house by Hemraj. Krishna, who worked as an assistant at the Talwars' clinic, held a grudge against Rajesh, who had reprimanded him for an occupational mistake.
The investigators suspected that the three men tried to sexually assault Aarushi and killed her when she resisted; Hemraj was killed as he was the only witness to their entry in the house. Still so many unanswered questions about Aarushi's death: Image from IBNlive The use of narcoanalytics in India has been a murky issue with the Supreme Court declaring the use of narcoanalysis, brainmapping and polygraph tests on suspects, "illegal".