Aarushi murder case: Benefit of doubt to Talwars' help

Not enough proof to hold them guilty, says High Court.

Lucknow/New Delhi: Nine years after being accused of and charged with murdering their teenaged daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj, dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were acquitted by the Allahabad High Court on Thursday. The court gave them the benefit of doubt saying that neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty.

The High Court rejected the CBI report and held that the Talwars were “not guilty”. The court has ordered their immediate release. The Talwars could be freed from Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail, where they have been serving their life sentence since November 2013, on Friday.

We have got justice, say Talwars
Jailor Dadhiram Maurya told the media that Nupur Talwar, who was watching the proceedings on TV while being lodged in the jail along with her husband Rajesh, broke down and said that they had finally “got justice”.

The high court gave the couple the benefit of the doubt and quashed their life sentence. A division bench comprising Justices B.K. Narayana and A.K. Misra upheld the Talwars’ appeal against the CBI court order sentencing them to life imprisonment on November 26, 2013.

The judges observed the circumstantial evidence against them was inadequate, and that the CBI had failed to fill in the gaps in the evidence.

Aarushi Talwar, 14, was found murdered in her room in Noida on May 16, 2008 and the missing servant Hemraj, 45, was initially suspected of being the killer. However, a day later Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace of the house in which the Talwar family lived.

As the Allahabad high court quashed the life sentence of the Talwars, the CBI's lawyers said they would study the high court’s judgment and then decide whether it should be challenged in the Supreme Court or not.

It may be recalled that during the trial, the Talwars had raised objections over how the CBI had put together facts to build the so-called circumstantial evidence. Incidentally, neither of the accused had confessed to the murder, and the murder weapon, allegedly a golf club with their fingerprints on it, was never found.

Though the prosecution had established that the Talwars were present at the house during the murder, it failed to establish that the accused had in any way committed the crime. On the basis of circumstantial evidence, the CBI had argued that Aarushi was killed allegedly by Rajesh Talwar after he found her in a “compromising position” with Hemraj.

The CBI also went on to accuse the dentist couple of tampering with evidence, but again could not come up with any clear evidence connecting them to the murders. Following its failure to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Talwars were involved in the double murder, the CBI filed a closure report in December 2010.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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