Talwar lawyer: CBI tampered evidence

Aarushi Talwar

The lawyer for dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, who are standing trial for the 2008 murder of their teenaged daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, on Wednesday suggested that there was "tampering of evidence" by the CBI.

This suggestion, made during the cross-examination of SPR Prasad, scientist from the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) who analysed samples lifted from the crime scene, had to do with the reported switching of pillow cases of Hemraj and Krishna, a former employee of Rajesh Talwar.

Earlier in the trial, there was a furore in court after it was disclosed that a pillow case found from Krishna's room had traces of Hemraj's blood. But the CBI later said it had checked with the CDFD and this was only a typographical error, that the bloodstains had come from a pillow case in Hemraj's room itself. Prasad told the court that on March 17, 2010, the CDFD received a letter from the then CBI SP asking for a clarification on the pillow case, "as it seemed that there was a mistake."

"After I and other scientists checked, we found that there was a problem in the chronology of items that were documented and their code numbers had been mixed up," Prasad said.

The defence lawyer asked Prasad if any of the workbooks or the registration register had been seized by the CBI. To this, Prasad said, "I did not give the workbook to the CBI nor have I produced it in court. Stock book register, coding officer register, and the director's register was neither given nor seized by the CBI."

Tanveer Ahmed Mir, the defence counsel, said, "Therefore, how did the CBI come to know of the mistake if they had none of the documents?" The defence lawyer also raised the point that the exhibits that were displayed in court did not have CDFD tags on them despite the lab being the last place where the evidence was analysed."It suggests that when the exhibits were sent back to the CBI, they were opened," Mir said.

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