HC ac­quits Tal­wars in Aarushi mur­der case

Al­la­habad High Court gives den­tist cou­ple ben­e­fit of doubt

The Hitavada - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Al­la­habad High Court on Thurs­day ac­quit­ted Nupur and Ra­jesh Tal­war in the 2008 mur­der of their teenage daugh­ter Aarushi and do­mes­tic help Hem­raj, say­ing that nei­ther the cir­cum­stances nor the ev­i­dence was enough to hold them guilty.

The ver­dict ends, at least for now, 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 that not only trans­fixed but also shook the na­tion with its el­e­ment of fil­i­cide.

The Tal­wars, who are both den­tists, are ex­pected to be freed on Thurs­day from Ghazi­abad’s Dasna jail af­ter the com­ple­tion of pa­per­work.

Pro­nounc­ing the ver­dict in a packed court room, the bench said that it is a fit case where ben­e­fit of doubt can be given to the

ap­pel­lants and set aside the judge­ment of the CBI court con­vict­ing the Tal­wars who were ar­rested in May 2008.

The CBI did not im­me­di­ately say if it would ap­peal the High Court ver­dict. It said it would study the or­der and de­cide the fu­ture course of ac­tion.

“I am grate­ful to the ju­di­ciary for the ver­dict,” said B G Chit­nis, Nupur Tal­war’s fa­ther and a for­mer Group Cap­tain in the In­dian Air Force.

“They have re­ally suf­fered. They are emo­tion­ally drained. At my age it was very try­ing to see my daugh­ter be­hind bars,” he told re­porters in New Delhi.

“It’s been an ex­haust­ing jour­ney for us. We are re­ally grate­ful to the High Court for hav­ing aquit­ted and end­ing the in­jus­tice meted out to them,” said Van­dana Tal­war, an aunt of Aarushi who was 14 when she was killed.

A di­vi­sion bench com­pris­ing jus­tices B K Narayana and A K Mishra up­held the Tal­wars’ ap­peal against the CBI court ver­dict, hold­ing that the cir­cum­stances of the case and the ev­i­dence on record did not es­tab­lished a chain show­ing their in­volve­ment in the mur­ders of Aarushi and Hem­raj.

The CBI court had re­lied on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence to con­vict the cou­ple in the ab­sence of any mo­tive. In his judge­ment, Ad­di­tional Ses­sions Judge Shyam Lal has cited judge­ments of the Supreme Court to say that the mere 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 cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence can in prin­ci­ple me made.”

Dad­hi­ram Mau­rya, the jailor of the Dasna prison where the Tal­wars are lodged, said the cou­ple felt they have got jus­tice.

Ra­jesh and Nupur Tal­war in Dasna jail. (In­set) Aarushi.

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