More than a month into his detention, Dr.Rajesh Talwar, a dentist of India's capital, New Delhi, is still parting with no information.
Police say he remains a suspect in the twin murder case, though it concedes it is a case of "blind murder" — in which there are no witnesses and evidence has been tampered with.
AdvertisementAnd so a court rejected Dr.Talwar's bail plea Thursday, extending his judicial custody by another fortnight.
Talwar's daughter, Aarushi, a class 9 student of Delhi Public School, was found dead, her throat slit, in her family's Jal Vayu Vihar apartment on May 16. The police in NOIDA, a suburb off the national capital and falling within the state of Uttar Pradesh, initially named domestic help Hemraj as the prime accused but his own dead body was found on the building's terrace the next day.
Rajesh Talwar himself was arrested on May 23. It was the UP police that said the doctor was guilty of double murder. He killed them both as he suspected an affair between them.
Talwar protested innocence and so did his family. The local community too rallied around him saying he was being framed, though it was not clear for which reason.
On June 1, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Several rounds of narco-analysis and lie detector tests later, still the country's premier investigating agency seems to be groping in the dark. Even the murder weapons have not been recovered nor the mobile phones of the two killed.
The dentist's wife Nupur Talwar and his business associates, the Durranis, have all come under the scanner, and his compounder Krishna has been arrested. Still it doesn't add up.
The agency merely told the court Thursday that the arrest of Krishna did not mean that Talwar was himself in the clear. Anyway the investigations were at a crucial stage.
CBI counsel R.K. Saini also noted that Talwar, when asked about Hemraj, had said "Hemraj mera naukar tha" (he was my servant). Saini argued that the very fact that Talwar mentioned Hemraj in the past tense meant that he knew that Hemraj was dead, prompting Talwar's defence counsel to raise objection that he was playing with words.
Saini also wondered as to how was it possible that Talwar or his wife could not have heard the screams of their daughter when they were just five feet away from the scene of crime.
Besides, on May 17 Talwar had called the police and said that some material relevant to his daughter's murder might perhaps be available on the roof of the house. But the keys to the terrace door were missing. Later when the lock was broken, Hemraj's body was found.
Rejecting the dentist's bail application, District and Sessions Judge N.K. Jain said the "most astonishing fact is that Aarushi was found murdered in a room the keys of which were with Dr Rajesh Talwar."
The judge said in his order that no efforts were made to look for Hemraj in the house after Aarushi's body was found. No one checked the terrace and, when Hemraj's body was found, Dr Talwar and his brother refused to identify him. These were reasonable grounds that raise suspicion on Dr Talwar's involvement in the crime.
The judged also noted that "the conduct of Talwar is also such that in the FIR he has alleged that his daughter was murdered by his servant who disappeared from the house last night, while according to the statement recorded under 161 CrPC he inquired in the morning from his wife as to where servant Hemraj had gone and to this his wife had replied he might have gone for some work."
Defence counsel Satish Tamta said the CBI has two different versions to the case. One pointed towards Talwar and another towards Krishna, and there was nothing conclusive.
Tamta said the CBI has no other evidence against Talwar other than his own statement under 161 CrPC. He added that most medical tests had already been conducted on him; Talwar and his family had made themselves available to the investigating agency as and when required.
The family owns immovable property and is an income-tax payee and is not going to run away anywhere. They are also ready to submit his passport to the investigating agency, Tamta said.
He also suggested to the court that his client would even shift his residence near the CBI headquarters, if the probe agency desired so and hence Talwar could safely be released on bail. But the court finally accepted the CBI's plea for custody extension.