Aarushi murder case: Talwars to walk free today, detailed order awaited

  • Base on balls
  • 13/10/2017
Aarushi murder case: Talwars to walk free today, detailed order awaited
NOIDA: The wheel came full circle in the nine-year-old Aarushi-Hemraj murder case on Thursday, with the Allahabad high court acquitting jailed dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar of the charges of killing their daughter and domestic help due to lack of clinching evidence and the possibility that an outsider could have committed the crimes."The chain of evidence is not sufficient. The golden rule and cardinal principle in justice is if there is only circumstantial evidence,goes to the accused," a bench of Justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra said while pronouncing the 'not guilty' verdict in a packed courtroom.A special CBI court had in November 2013 convicted the dentist couple for the murders and sentenced them to life imprisonment.The HC bench, however, found no "irresistible conclusion" leading to the guilt of the Talwars and upheld their appeal against their conviction.In the process, the HC turned the clock back to 2010, when CBI had filed its closure report citing lack of sufficient evidence to go after the Talwars."Neither the evidence on record nor the circumstances can establish a chain showing involvement of the accused in this murder case," the bench said, ending a nine-year ordeal for the parents. The Talwars could not be held guilty just because they were present in the house when the murders took place, the bench said, adding that the CBI had not provided evidence that proved the charges beyond doubt. The couple, lodged in Dasna jail since their conviction, are expected to be freed on Friday when the HC judgement's signed copy is communicated to the jail superintendent and related formalities completed.Speaking to TOI from Allahabad, Tanveer Ahmed Mir, Talwar's lawyer from the trial stage, said that both judges have written separate but concurring judgements while examining the evidence relied upon by the trial court. "The HC has pointed out that this is a case where theory of an alternative murderer killer was covenanted in the prosecution story itself, that is, the CBI has from the beginning agreed there could be someone else who committed the crime," Mir said, adding that the exact reasoning that led the HC to reverse the trial court ruling will emerge once the judgments are made public, most probably on Friday.Rajesh and Nupur had challenged their conviction pointing out loopholes in the trial court verdict and maintained that CBI had let off the "real killers". On January 9, 2017, HC had reserved judgement in the case, but started re-hearing of the appeal on August 1, 2017 as it wanted CBI to shed more light on the internet router which was found to be operational on the night of the murder.Aarushi and Hemraj were killed in the Talwar's Jalvayu Vihar house in Noida, just eight days before Aarushi was to turn 14. Initially Hemraj, the family's domestic help who was missing, was suspected to be the killer but a day later his partially decomposed body was found on the terrace of the house. The case has undergone dramatic twists.The then IG Gurdarshan Singh had announced in a press conference that Talwar had seen Aarushi and Hemraj in a "objectionable though not compromising position" and battered them to death in a fit of rage. But the police failed to provide material evidence backing their sensational claim forcing the then CM Mayawati to transfer the probe to CBI.Under joint director Arun Kumar, the first CBI investigation team zeroed in on three new suspects -Talwar's compounder Krishna, and Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal, domestic servants in the neighbourhood. Relying on its much touted "scientific evidence" the first team claimed a breakthrough and named them as the alleged killers, giving Talwar's a clean chit. The CBI conducted several tests, including lie-detection, psycho analysis and narco-analysis on the servants to claim it had cracked the murder mystery . But it later failed to file a chargesheet on the ground it didn't have enough evidence.In September 2009, amidst allegations of swapping of Aarushi's vaginal swabs and missing pathology reports, CBI director Ashwini Kumar brought in a new team of investigators headed by joint director Javed Ahmad and additional SP A G L Kaul, the investigating officer of the case.A second probe started focussing on re-examination of the scene of crime, checking hospital records and conducting narco tests on the Talwars in February 2010. Based on whatever sketchy evidence the CBI could gather, it decided to go after the Talwars again. Though Kaul wanted to file a chargesheet against the parents, his seniors suggested a closure report which was duly filed on December 29, 2010, with CBI narrating the degree of evidence it had against the Talwars, along with statements of 84 witnesses, documents and forensic reports.On their part, the couple also protested against the closure but was left stunned when the special CBI judge rejected the CBI report and ordered trial of the parents as accused.
  
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