Allahabad High Court acquits Talwars in daughter Aarushi's murder case

The Talwars with a portrait of Aarushi at a meeting in Jantar Mantar, Delhi, in January 2011. File picture

Allahabad, Oct. 12 (Agencies): The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Nupur and Rajesh Talwar in the 2008 murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, saying they could not be held guilty going by the circumstances and the evidence on record.

The verdict ends a nine-year ordeal for the Noida-based dentist couple, serving a life sentence in Dasna jail after being found guilty in the murder of Aarushi, 14, on November 26, 2013, by a Ghaziabad court handling cases of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

A division bench of Justices B.K. Narayana and A.K. Mishra, allowing the appeals of the Talwars, held that neither the circumstances nor the evidence on record established a chain showing their involvement in the murders of Aarushi and Hemraj.

Pronouncing the verdict in a packed courtroom, the bench said that it is a fit case where benefit of doubt can be given to the appellants and set aside the lower court’s judgment.

Aarushi was found dead in her room at the Talwars' Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008.

Uttar Pradesh police named Hemraj, 45, as the prime suspect but ended up with egg on its face after Hemraj’s body was found a day later on the terrace of the house, supposedly a crime scene that had been already searched and sealed.

Then, a top police officer got Arushi’s name wrong while making a progress statement.

As police got heavy flak over the shoddy investigation, the state’s then chief minister Mayawati, called in the CBI.

The CBI worked on the assumption that Rajesh Talwar had murdered Aarushi and Hemraj after finding them in a ‘compromising’ position.

On Thursday, the CBI, reacting to the verdict, said it would study the high court’s order before commenting on its next step.

The jailor of the Gaziabad's Dasna prison, Dadhiram Maurya, said the Talwars felt they have got justice and were praying.

”After having breakfast they were praying. Their schedule was normal. She (Nupur Talwar) said they got justice today and had tears of joy,” he said.

”Any person after spending this amount of jail will feel happy to get freedom. So they were happy after they were told about the news,” he said.

Lawyer Rebecca John, who was part of Talwars' legal team, said she was relieved by the judgment. She claimed the whole case was based on “innuendos” and would “not have carried through”.

John, who is a family friend of the couple, hoped that the Talwars, who have been in media spotlight for over nine years, would be allowed privacy after their release from the jail.

Jail sources said the couple were likely to walk free on Friday.

(This report was updated at 5.30pm.)


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