In­dian court throws out con­vic­tion of par­ents ac­cused of killing daugh­ter

Toronto Star - - NEWS - AN­NIE ARNONE AND ALANNA RIZZA STAFF RE­PORTERS

A cou­ple ac­cused of killing their 13-year-old daugh­ter in 2008 were cleared on ap­peal, fol­low­ing a court hear­ing in In­dia on Thurs­day.

Ra­jesh and Nupur Tal­war, both den­tists in New Delhi, were con­victed of mur­der in 2013, af­ter their daugh­ter Aarushi Tal­war was found dead on her bed in New Delhi in 2008.

The Tal­war’s lawyer, Tan­veer Ahmed Mir, told the Star he de­bunked the Cen­tral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion’s (CBI) case, which charged both Ra­jesh and Nupur with mur­der, al­leg­ing Ra­jesh had mur­dered his daugh­ter af­ter find­ing her in a “com­pro­mis­ing po­si­tion” with the fam­ily cook Hem­raj, who was found dead on the ter­race of the house.

Mir said the judges were not sat­is­fied with CBI’s case and ac­quit­ted Ra­jesh and Nupur.

Mir said the cou­ple is ex­pected to be re­leased to­mor­row.

“I was able to show the ev­i­dence that (Hem­raj) was as­saulted and mur­dered on the roof . . . an iso­lated in­ci­dent to the mur­der of (Aarushi) in her room, which de­bunked and de­mol­ished the pros­e­cu­tion’s case. And sim­ply there was no mo­tive for the par­ents to have killed them.”

He told the court it was “out­siders” who mur­dered Aarushi and Hem­raj, point­ing to three other ar­rests made in con­nec­tion to the mur­ders, in- clud­ing the Tal­wars’ den­tal clinic as­sis­tant Kr­ishna Thadarai. His house was searched and a pil­low­case was found with Hem­raj’s blood on it.

“My duty to­day was not to prove who did the mur­ders but that my clients did not do it,” Mir said.

Ac­cord­ing to The Hindu, the Tal­war’s pre­vi­ous lawyer Re­becca John said: “I am happy that the Al­la­habad High Court has al­lowed the ap­peal filed by Nupur and Ra­jesh Tal­war against their con­vic­tion . . . The case against them was un­ten­able in fact and law, and their pros­e­cu­tion and sub­se­quent con­vic­tion re­sulted in grave mis­car­riage of jus­tice.”

In Novem­ber 2013, the cou­ple was given a life sen­tence.

The Star has cov­ered the Tal­war case ex­ten­sively from the per­spec­tive of columnist Shree Parad­kar, who is the cousin of Nupur Tal­war. Parad­kar’s 2013 chron­i­cle of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­came one of the Star’s most-read sto­ries.

A best­selling book on the case, ti­tled Aarushi, was re­leased in In­dia in 2015. That same year, a film on the mur­ders, called Tal­var — re­leased in­ter­na­tion­ally as Guilty — pre­miered at TIFF and is now on Net­flix.

Aarushi Tal­war was 13 years old when she was found dead on her bed in New Delhi in May 2008.

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