Krishna merely a witness, insists lawyer

June 18th, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Noida, June 18 (IANS) Krishna, who worked as compounder with teenaged murder victim Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar, had confessed only as a witness and not as an accused, his lawyer maintained Wednesday, a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said he had confessed his role in the crime. As the CBI submitted before the court that it had obtained, under section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), a confessional statement from Krishna in which he had admitted his crime, it is clear that the agency had made him either approver or a witness, lawyer F.C. Sharma said.

“Section 161 of CrPC applies for a witness and section 162 applies for the accused. As the CBI has stated that they recorded his statement under section 161 of CrPC, it means Krishna is a witness not an accused,” he said.

No CBI official could be available to comment on the submission.

“Krishna has confessed to his involvement in the crime along with others,” the CBI said in a statement submitted in the court of special judge Sapna Mishra Tuesday, even as it sought his custody for 11 days. The judge allowed only six days.

Krishna was the compounder in the dental clinic run by dentist Rajesh Talwar, who has also been arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the crime.

“Krishna revealed that (murdered domestic help) Hemraj had asked him to bring a ‘khukri’ (Nepali curved knife) when he came to Talwar’s residence at around midnight on May 14. He said he had taken the khukri himself,” the CBI statement said.

Aarushi, 14, was found dead in her upscale Jal Vayu Vihar apartment in suburban Noida May 16. The Noida police initially named Hemraj as the prime suspect, but retracted after his body was found on the terrace of the house the next day.

Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar was arrested May 23. Police said Talwar killed his daughter in a fit of rage as he objected to her closeness with Hemraj. Police said Talwar first killed Hemraj and then his daughter.

The agency held Krishna June 13.

Legal experts contended that the CBI might have extracted a confession from Krishna but this was not admissible in court as it had been recorded before a police officer under section 161 of the CrPC. Only statements recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the code are admissible as evidence.

The CBI will now produce Krishna before the court on June 23.

Meanwhile, the CBI Wednesday interrogated Rajesh Talwar’s driver Umesh Sharma and took him to a bank at sector-18 Noida.

A CBI official said: “He was taken to the bank to verify some account transactions. Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar also has an account in the same bank but the agency had nothing to do with her account.”

The CBI officials also interrogated the Talwars’ maid Bharti for about 45 minutes.

The agency also summoned Rajesh Talwar’s friend Anita Durani, a dentist, at the CBI headquarters and she was asked to clarify her earlier statements.

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