4 years after con­vic­tion, Tal­wars set free in Aarushi mur­der case

Cou­ple re­leased in the mur­der of 14-year-old daugh­ter

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

LUC­KNOW: Four years after their con­vic­tion and given life terms, den­tist cou­ple Ra­jesh and Nupur Tal­war were on Thurs­day ac­quit­ted in the 2008 mur­ders of their teenage daugh­ter Aarushi and do­mes­tic help Hem­raj by the Al­la­habad High Court that gave them the ben­e­fit of doubt, a ver­dict that left ques­tions unan­swered on who killed them.

A bench of Jus­tice B K Narayana and Jus­tice A K Mishra set free the cou­ple in the sen­sa­tional mur­der of 14-year-old Aarushi Tal­war at their Jal­vayu Vi­har home in Noida on May 16, 2008. Tan­veer Ahmed Mir, lawyer for the cou­ple, said they were able to prove that the CBI case had no ba­sis or legs to stand on. “Once the ba­sis of the prose­cu­tion was knocked out be­cause it was un­be­liev­able, then there was no mo­tive. There was no ster­ling wit­ness.”

Aditya Wad­hwa, an­other de­fence lawyer, said just be­cause there was no other per­son present in the room, where Aarushi was found dead, it was un­jus­ti­fied to blame the par­ents for the mur­der.

He said both the judges found the charges against them base­less and there was no strength in the al­le­ga­tions of the CBI. Dhruv Gupta, an­other coun­sel for the ac­cused par­ents, said there was no eye­wit­ness and in a case which depended on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence “the law of the land is that the ben­e­fit of doubt goes to the ac­cused”.

“Also when is an al­ter­na­tive hy­poth­e­sis (of some other killer), the ben­e­fit of doubt again goes to the ac­cused.”

The cou­ple is ex­pected to be set free from Dasna jail in Ghazi­abad on Fri­day. Their rel­a­tives ex­pressed hap­pi­ness over the judge­ment, say­ing fi­nally the or­deal is over for the cou­ple.

Re­act­ing to the ver­dict, the CBI said it would study the Al­la­habad High Court or­der and “de­cide the fu­ture course of ac­tion”. Pi­naki Mishra, the lawyer who ap­peared for the cou­ple in the Supreme Court, said the CBI will have no case to ar­gue in the Supreme Court. After a Spe­cial CBI Court in Ghazi­abad con­victed them for the mur­ders in 2013 and handed them life terms, the Tal­wars ap­pealed in the Al­la­habad High Court against the ver­dict.

For­mer CBI Di­rec­tor A P Singh, who then headed the agency when it took over the case, said: “There were loop­holes in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that is why we had closed the case say­ing it was in­con­clu­sive.”

He said the High Court ver­dict “does not say that the Tal­wars didn’t do it” but that there was not enough ev­i­dence against them. Aarushi was found mur­dered in her bed­room, fol­low­ing which Hem­raj was ini­tially a sus­pect.

How­ever, his body too was found in a pool of blood a day later on the ter­race of the house. The Ut­tar Pradesh Po­lice ac­cused Ra­jesh Tal­war of killing his daugh­ter in a fit of rage after he al­legedly found Aarushi in a com­pro­mis­ing sit­u­a­tion with Hem­raj.

— AFP

A group of com­man­dos of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard ride on their mo­tor­cy­cles dur­ing an aware­ness rally to fight against ter­ror in Al­la­habad, Ut­tar Pradesh, on Wed­nes­day.

— Reuters file photo

Aarushi Ra­jesh Tal­war (R) and wife Nupur are taken to court in Ghazi­abad, on the out­skirts of New Delhi, on Novem­ber 25, 2013.

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