With the Allahabad High court on Thursday acquitting dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, giving them the benefit of doubt, the CBI — which had taken over the case — said they will study the judgment. “We are yet to receive a copy of the order. CBI will study it and decide the future course of action,” a CBI spokesperson said.
Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found murdered in her bedroom at the family’s residence in Noida’s Jalvayu Vihar. Police had initially suspected their domestic help, Hemraj, but a day later his body was recovered from the terrace of the same flat.
Two separate CBI teams had investigated the case over nine years. There were several shortcomings in the probe from the start, from the seizure of the murder weapons — a scalpel which was claimed to have been used to slit Aarushi’s throat — and conflicting post-mortem reports.
The Talwars were granted life imprisonment for the murder of their daughter by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 25, 2013. The judgment had noted that on the basis of evidence tendered by the prosecution, the court had reached the “irresistible and impeccable conclusion that only the accused persons are responsible” for the crime and listed 26 crucial evidence that pointed “towards the hypothesis of guilt of the accused”.
These ranged from the couple not being found weeping by their maid in the morning to their clothes not being “soaked in blood”. Consequently, the Talwars were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life for charges of murder.
But on Thursday, the Allahabad High Court maintained that the CBI had been unable to prove the Talwars’ guilt and that there was “no irresistible conclusion that the accused committed the murders”.
The trial against the couple was initiated after the CBI filed a closure report in December 2010, where it gave a clean chit to the domestic helps but pointed fingers at Aarushi’s parents. The report was filed by CBI investigator AGL Kaul, who passed away in 2014.
However, the special CBI court rejected the agency’s claim that there was not enough evidence in the case and ordered proceedings against the Talwars.
9 years on
May 16: Aarushi found dead. Dr Rajesh Talwar, files complaint, alleging that their domestic help, Hemraj, had killed her
May 17: Hemraj’s body found on terrace of Talwar’s house
May 23: Rajesh Talwar arrested for the two murders. Meerut Zone IG, Gurdarshan Singh, said there was enough evidence, including cover-up attempts
June 1: CBI takes over probe
June 11: Rajesh Talwar gets bail
June 13: CBI arrests Krishna, the couple’s domestic help
June 26: CBI declares it a “blind case”. Rajesh Talwar refused bail by special magistrate in Ghaziabad
July 12: Rajesh Talwar granted bail from Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail
Feb 15-20: Narco-analysis tests conducted on Rajesh Talwar
Dec 29: CBI team files closure report, citing “insufficient evidence”. Servants get clean chit, Talwars remain prime suspects
Feb 9: Trial court rejects CBI’s closure report and summons Talwars to face murder charges
Feb 21: Talwars go to Allahabad HC for quashing summons
Mar 18: Allahabad HC junks plea
Mar 19: Couple approach SC
Jan 9: SC says bail granted to Rajesh Talwar by lower court would continue; he should appear before Ghaziabad magistrate on Feb 4 to face trial along with his wife
Feb 4: Trial begins
Nov, 25 2013: Special CBI court convicts couple for double murder, sentences them to life
Oct 12, 2017: Allahabad HC acquits couple