Arushi Talwar case: Review petition of Nupur Talwar dismissed by Supreme Court

Nupur Talwar vs Central Bureau of Investigation & Anr.


A double murder was committed on the night intervening 15-16.5.2008. On having found the body of Aarushi Talwar in her bedroom in House no. L-32, Jalvayu Vihar, Sector 25, Noida, her father Dr. Rajesh Talwar got a first information report registered at Police Station Sector 20, Noida, on 16.5.2008. In the first information report Dr. Rajesh Talwar pointed the needle of suspicion at Hemraj, a domestic help in the household of the Talwars. On 17.5.2008 the dead body of Hemraj was recovered from the terrace of the same house where Aarushi’s murder had also allegedly been committed.

The initial investigation into the double murder was carried out by the U.P. Police. On 29.5.2008 the State of Uttar Pradesh handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation, thereupon investigation was conducted by the CBI. During the course of investigation, besides Dr. Rajesh Talwar, the needle of suspicion came to be pointed towards Krishna Thadarai, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal. Dr. Rajesh Talwar was arrested on 23.5.2008. Originally a three days’ remand was granted to interrogate him to the U.P. Police. Dr. Rajesh Talwar remained in police and judicial custody from time to time, where from, he was eventually released on bail on 11.7.2008. The other three individuals, namely, Krishna Thadarai, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal were also arrested by the police. Since investigation against the aforesaid three could not be completed within the period of 90 days, they were ordered to be released on bail.

Having investigated into the matter for a considerable length of time, the CBI submitted a closure report on 29.12.2010. The reasons depicted in the closure report indicated the absence of sufficient evidence to prove the alleged offences against the accused Dr. Rajesh Talwar, beyond reasonable doubt.

On the receipt of the closure report submitted by the CBI, the Special Judicial Magistrate (CBI), Ghaziabad issued notice to the Dr. Rajesh Talwar in his capacity as the first informant. In response to the notice received by Dr. Rajesh Talwar, he submitted a detailed protest petition dated 25.1.2011, wherein, he objected to the closure report (submitted by the CBI). In the protest petition he prayed for further investigation, to unravel the identity of those responsible for the twin murders of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj.

On 9.2.2011, the Magistrate rejected the closure report submitted by the CBI. The Magistrate also rejected, the prayer made in the protest petition for further investigation (by Dr. Rajesh Talwar). Instead, having taken cognizance, the Magistrate summoned Dr. Rajesh Talwar (father of Aarushi Talwar) and his wife Dr. Nupur Talwar (mother of Aarushi Talwar) for committing the murders of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, as also, for tampering with the evidence.

The aforestated summoning order dated 9.2.2011, was assailed by Dr. Nupur Talwar by filing a revision petition before the High Court of judicature at Allahabad. The aforesaid Criminal Revision Petition came to be dismissed by the High Court vide an order dated 18.3.2011. Dissatisfied with the order passed by the High Court dated 18.3.2011, Dr. Nupur Talwar approached Supreme Court by filing Special Leave Petition which was dismissed by an order dated 6.1.2012. Through the instant review petition prayed for reviewing the order dated 6.1.2012.

The petitioner challenged the order passed by the Magistrate on 9.2.2011 for being unnecessarily exhaustive. The Magistrate was accused of discussing the evidence in minute detail, and thereby, for having evaluated the merits of the controversy, well before the beginning of the trial. It was sought to be canvassed, that even if the Magistrate having taken cognizance, was satisfied that process deserved to be issued, he ought not have examined the factual intricacies of the controversy. The Magistrate, it was submitted, has the authority only to commit the controversy in hand, to a Court of Session, as the alleged offences emerging out of the first information report dated 16.5.2008, and the discovery of the murder of Hemraj thereafter, are triable only by a Court of Session. It was submitted, that the controversy had been examined as if, the Magistrate was conducting the trial. It was asserted, that a perusal of the order passed by the Magistrate dated 9.2.2011, gives the impression of the passing of a final order, on the culmination of trial. It was, therefore, submitted, that the order dated 9.2.2011 be set aside, as all the inferences, assumptions and conclusions recorded therein, were totally uncalled for.

The Supreme Court after discussing the relevant case law in detail held that in the present set of circumstances, the Magistrate having examined the statements recorded during the course of investigation under Sections 161 and 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as also, the documents and other materials collected during the process of investigation, was fully justified in recording the basis on which, having taken cognizance, it was decided to issue process. In passing the order dated 9.2.2011 the Magistrate merely highlighted the circumstances emerging out of the investigation carried out in the matter, which constituted the basis of her decision to issue process. The Magistrate’s order being speaking, could not be stated to have occasioned failure of justice. The order of the Magistrate, therefore, could not be faulted on the ground that it was a reasoned order. The review petition was thus dismissed.