The Allahabad high court acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar on October 12 of charges of killing their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in 2008.
The couple were awarded life sentence by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad on November 26, 2013, a day after their conviction. They had later appealed the decision to Allahabad high court.
A Division Bench comprising Justices A.K. Mishra and B.K. Narayana, gave the benefit of the doubt to the Talwars, adding that the parents did not murder their child.
The court pointed out that CBI had failed to prove guilt beyond doubt. It accepted the argument of counsel for the Talwars that the case against them was based entirely on circumstantial evidence and that they were innocent.
Speaking to The Hindu, Rebecca John, the lawyer of the Talwars said, “I am happy that the Allahabad high court has allowed the appeal filed by Nupur & Rajesh Talwar against their conviction and sentence. The case against them was untenable in fact, and law and their prosecution and subsequent conviction resulted in grave miscarriage of justice.”
The Aarushi Talwar Case – a timeline
May 16, 2008: Soon-to-turn 14-year-old, Aarushi Talwar was found dead in the bedroom of her house in Jalvayu Vihar, Noida. Her throat was slit and her head poorly clobbered. The family’s live-in domestic help Hemraj Banjade was seen as the prime suspect in the murder.
However, a day later, Hemraj (45) was found dead on the terrace of the same flat. His throat also slit and, he had suffered injuries to his head. There were wounds all over his body, and the door to the terrace was found locked from inside.
Noida Police suspected the twin murders to be an insider job and said that they had been committed with ‘surgical precision’.
May 23, 2008: Rajesh Talwar was arrested for the double murder. The Noida Police opined that case was of ‘honour killing’- Rajesh had committed the twin murders after finding Aarushi and Hemraj in an ‘objectionable’ position. No forensic or material evidence was provided to substantiate the claim. The case was handed over to the CBI.
June 13, 2008: CBI arrested Krishna Thadaraj, an assistant at Rajesh’s Noida clinic. On June 20, CBI conducted a lie detector test on Rajesh Talwar. A second lie detector test was also performed on Aarushi’s mother, Nupur Talwar, as the first one was found to be inconclusive five days later.
July 12, 2008: After spending almost two months in jail, Rajesh Talwar got bail.
December 2010: Post the narco-analysis tests that were conducted on the Talwars, the CBI submitted a closure report on the grounds of “insufficient evidence”. Clean chit was served to the servants, Rajesh Talwar was named the primary suspect. Due to lack of evidence, CBI did not charge him. The court said that the case cannot be closed.
November 25, 2013: CBI judge Shyam Lal convicted the Talwars guilty of both murders and destruction of evidence. Life imprisonment was awarded to the Talwars by the CBI court, a day later.
The couple then filed an appeal in the Allahabad High Court challenging the previous court’s order. They were finally acquitted in October 12 this year.