“We are satisfied with the judgment and are greatly relieved. We believe justice has been done as the court has set aside the trial court’s order for the lack of sufficient evidence,” said defence counsel Dilip Kumar, who represented the Talwars.
The HC also pointed out “vari- ous shortcomings” in the lower court’s judgment, while ruling in favour of the defendants who had challenged the verdict.
Jail officials at Dasna said the couple was likely to be released on Friday after they received a copy of the court order.
Sources in the CBI said they would decide the next course of action after studying the verdict.
The high court verdict caps a series of twists and turns in the trial of a case that gripped the nation. Within weeks of the murder, the Uttar Pradesh police drew flak for doing a shoddy job and allegedly tampering evidence. Then chief minister Mayawati then handed over the case to the CBI.
Two CBI investigators reached differing conclusions on the basis of more or less the same evidence.
The first team led by Arun Kumar claimed a breakthrough on the basis of “scientific evidence”, primarily narco-analysis test reports, and arrested three men — Talwar’s compounder Krishna and two domestic helps working in the neighbourhood, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal. But the agency eventually failed to build a case against them.
Another team probed the parents but it too failed to build a case, filing a closure report in 2009 that named Rajesh Talwar as the sole suspect based on circumstantial evidence but refused to charge him over lack of evidence.
But a special CBI court rejected the federal agency’s claim that there was not enough evidence, and ordered proceedings against the Talwars.
In a 208-page order on November 25, 2013, CBI judge Judge Shyam Lal pronounced the Talwars guilty of both murders and destruction of evidence. That verdict was reversed on Thursday.
(With inputs from