They didn’t kill their daugh­ter

TAL­WARS NOT GUILTY OF AARUSHI AND HEM­RAJ MUR­DERS, RULES AL­LA­HABAD HC

DNA (Delhi) - - NEWS - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­dent@dnain­dia.net

Luc­know/New Delhi: The Al­la­habad High Court on Thurs­day ac­quit­ted Ra­jesh and Nupur Tal­war of killing their teen-aged daugh­ter Aarushi and live-in do­mes­tic help Hem­raj Ban­jade, four years af­ter the den­tist cou­ple was con­victed and jailed for life for the 2008 twin mur­ders that trans­fixed the na­tion.

The court raised se­ri­ous doubts over the CBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion and said the “cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dences” were not ad­e­quate for a con­vic­tion and gave the ben­e­fit of doubt to the Tal­wars, who are likely to be re­leased from Ghazi­abad’s Dasna jail on Fri­day.

“Ra­jesh and Nupur Tal­war are happy. They said that they have got jus­tice,” said Dasna Jailor DR Mau­rya. But the sen­sa­tional crimes that trig­gered con­spir­acy the­o­ries, books and even a Bol­ly­wood movie are once again a mys­tery. There was “a strong al­ter­na­tive killer the­ory”, the court said on Thurs­day, the lat­est in a se­ries of twists and turns in two of In­dia’s most in­fa­mous mur­der mys­ter­ies.

There was ap­plause in the packed court­room, when the two-mem­ber bench of Jus­tices BK Narayan and AK Mishra read the op­er­a­tive por­tion of the 26-page or­der.

“There is no ir­re­sistible con­clu­sion that the ac­cused com­mit­ted the mur­ders... there is no clinch­ing ev­i­dence, there is only cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence. In case of doubts, one has to favour the ac­cused. The ben­e­fit of doubt in this case goes in favour of Tal­wars,” re­ports quoted the bench as say­ing.

Nupur’s fa­ther BG Chit­nis said he was grate­ful to the ju­di­ciary. “I have seen the cou­ple suf­fer­ing. It has been re­ally test­ing. I am emo­tion­ally drained,” he said. Ra­jesh’s sis­ter-in-law Van­dana Tal­war said she was deeply re­lieved. “We suf­fered for 10 years. Grate­ful to the court.”

CBI coun­sel Anurag Khanna said that the agency may move the Supreme Court against the High Court ver­dict af­ter dis­cus­sions with se­nior of­fi­cials.

A Spe­cial CBI court in Ghazi­abad had sen­tenced the Tal­wars to life im­pris­on­ment on Novem­ber 26, 2013 for mur­der, de­stroy­ing ev­i­dence and mis­lead­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Thir­teen-year-old Aarushi had been found mur­dered in­side her bed­room in Noida’s Jal­vayu Vi­har near Delhi, with her throat slit and a fa­tal head in­jury, on May 16, 2008. The po­lice ini­tially sus­pected 45-year-old Hem­raj for the crime. But his body was found a day later on the ter­race of the build­ing, trig­ger­ing wall-to-wall me­dia cov­er­age.

The UP po­liced first botched up the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and later said the par­ents killed their own daugh­ter in a rage when they found her in bed with Hem­raj. It was also said that the crime scene had been dressed up to mis­lead in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Then CBI later took over the case. But its two teams — which probed the case at dif­fer­ent stages — reached con­flict­ing con­clu­sions. The first one ar­rested a com­pounder and two helps, but failed to build a case. In 2010, the sec­ond team filed a clo­sure re­port, which was re­jected by the CBI court, re­sult­ing in a trial and the cou­ple’s con­vic­tion.

On Thurs­day, the di­vi­sion bench de­liv­ered a con­cur­ring judge­ment and de­bunked the CBI’s sub­mis­sion and sug­gested there was “a strong al­ter­na­tive killer the­ory.” This can­not be ruled out that in the in­ter­ven­ing night of May 15-16, there were more than four peo­ple in the apart­ment, the court ob­served. The CBI the­ory that there could be no out­side ingress was also dis­missed by the court.

“This is a per­sonal vic­tory for me. I have known the Tal­wars for a long time now and I be­lieve that I have done all I could to re­store the fam­ily’s hon­our,” ad­vo­cate Tan­veer Mir said. “I have also re­stored the hon­our of the girl who, in her death, could not de­fend her hon­our.”

Ac­cord­ing to Dhruv Gupta, coun­sel for the Tal­wars, the court said that it was a case of “cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence” and con­cluded that the Tal­wars are not li­able to be held guilty.

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