Who killed Aarushi?

The ques­tion re­mains, as Tal­wars are freed on the ba­sis of ben­e­fit of doubt

Financial Chronicle - - EDIT, OPED, THE WORKS - my­mind@my­dig­i­talfc.com

NEARLY 10 years after Aarushi Tal­war was killed and four years after re­main­ing in jail for killing their teenaged daugh­ter, den­tist cou­ple Nupur and Ra­jesh Tal­war are all set to walk free. The Al­la­habad High Court judge­ment has brought re­lief to the par­ents but the sen­sa­tional mur­der case re­mains far from clo­sure.

It is a mo­ment of vin­di­ca­tion for the Tal­wars who faced ig­nominy of killing their only child but they won their free­dom on the ba­sis of ben­e­fit of doubt rather than get­ting ab­solved com­pletely.

With the high court’s judge­ment re­vers­ing the con­vic­tion of the cou­ple by a trial court, the prospects of know­ing who killed Aarushi Tal­war has faded al­most com­pletely. The mur­der might re­main sus­pended in the blind al­ley of shoddy in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The court was clear that the CBI had failed to prove the guilt be­yond rea­son­able doubt.

Aarushi was found dead in her bed­room in 2007. The ini­tial sus­pect was do­mes­tic help Hem­raj but he too was found mur­dered two days later on the ter­race of the house. In 2013, trial court found the Tal­wars guilty, as in­ves­ti­ga­tors claimed that only four per­sons were in the house and two had died. There were many loop­holes in the case and the po­lice had botched up in­ves­ti­ga­tions even be­fore the CBI took over.

The high court ruled that the Tal­wars can­not be con­victed merely on the ba­sis of sus­pi­cion. Dur­ing the course of trial, the high court ques­tioned in­ves­ti­ga­tors if the mo­tive of mur­der had been es­tab­lished. It was ear­lier said that the fa­ther had killed the daugh­ter after find­ing her in an al­legedly com­pris­ing po­si­tion with Hem­raj. But no ev­i­dence was pro­duced to sub­stan­ti­ate the claim.

It re­mains to be seen if the CBI will ap­peal against the high court judge­ment un­til then the Tal­wars can breathe easy. The case has been full of dis­crep­an­cies right from the start. The prose­cu­tion was not able to es­tab­lish cru­cial facts con­clu­sively. There was con­fu­sion over the mur­der weapon which ranged from golf club to khukri. They could not prove if there were more peo­ple in­volved other than the four who were in the house. The whole case was based on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence, which fell flat in the eyes of the high court.

This is not the first time when the prose­cu­tors have lost the case in ap­peal. Nor it will be the last. But there should be an ac­count­abil­ity in fix­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the botch up. There is a gen­eral im­pres­sion that the po­lice does not re­main com­pletely im­par­tial in deal­ing with cases. The clum­si­ness in in­ves­ti­ga­tion at times is de­lib­er­ate.

With the ac­quit­tal of Tal­wars, the mys­tery be­hind the mur­ders has only deep­ened and, at the mo­ment, no one seem to have the an­swers. If not Tal­wars then who killed Aarushi and Hem­raj and why. This ques­tion will con­tinue to haunt now that the high court has re­jected the se­quence of events pre­sented by the CBI. The lack of ev­i­dence and fail­ure to con­clu­sively es­tab­lish the guilt means that ether more is dug up or a new line of in­ves­ti­ga­tion has to be opened. If it is stick­ing to its guns, the CBI will have to ap­peal against the ac­quit­tal.

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