HC acquits Talwars in Aarushi murder case
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj in 2008, saying they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record. The verdict ends a nine-year ordeal of the parents, who were found guilty by a CBI court of murdering 14-year-old Aarushi.
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Nupur and Rajesh Talwar in the 2008 murders of their teenage daughter, Aarushi, and domestic help Hemraj, saying that neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty.
The 263-page verdict brings relief, at least for now, to the nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013, for the double murder.
“There is a strong possibility that incident was caused by some outsider,” a bench comprising judges B K Narayana and A K Mishra said, upholding the Talwars’ appeal against the court verdict.
The Talwars, who are both dentists, are expectedtobe freed on Friday from Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail after the completion of paperwork. The CBI did not immediately say if it would appeal against the high court judgment. It said it would study the order and decide the future course of action.
Pronouncing their verdict in a packed courtroom, judges Narayana and Mishra said, “From the facts and evidence on record, we find neither the circumstances nor evidence are consistent, and circumstances did not complete a chain showing involvement of appellants in the incident.” They said, “In case where two views are possible, the view taken for conviction of appellants may not be correct. In the absence of circumstantial evidence to complete the chain, it is a fit case where the benefit of doubt can be given to the appellants.”
B G Chitnis, Nupur Talwar’s father, said, “I am grateful to the judiciary for the verdict.”
A former group captain in the Indian Air Force, Chitnis told reporters in New Delhi, “They have really suffered. They are emotionally drained. At my age, it was very trying to see my daughter behind bars.”
Vandana Talwar, an aunt of Aarushi who was 14 when she was killed, said, “It’s been an exhausting journey for us. We are really grateful to the high court for having acquitted and ending the injustice meted out to them.”
The Talwars were arrested in May 2008. The CBI court convicted them on November 26, 2013. The high court had reserved its verdict on the appeals of the couple on September 7.
In his order, additional sessions judge Shyam Lal had cited judgment soft he Supreme Court to say theme re fact that the prosecution had failed to“translate that mental disposition of the accused into evidence does not mean that no such mental condition existed in the mind of the assailant.” He said, “In a case of circumstantial evidence, motive does not have extreme significance. In the absence of motive, the conviction based on circumstantialevidence can in principle be made.”
Lawyer Rebecca John, who was part of Talwars’ legal team, said she was relieved by the judgment. She claimed the whole case was based on “innuendos” and would “not have carried through”.
Dadhiram Maurya, the jailor of the Dasna prison where the Talwars are lodged, said the couple felt they have got justice.
The verdict brings relief to the nine-year ordeal of the parents ( pictured) whowerefoundguiltybyaCBIcourtofmurderingAarushi