By Ankita Gupta
Nearly a decade after Aarushi Talwar’s disturbing murder, her parents, Dr Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were exonerated of the crime by the Allahabad High Court. After four years of imprisonment, the dentist couple will walk free on account of insufficient evidence.
13-year-old Aarushi was found dead, with her throat slit open, in her flat in Noida on May 16, 2008. The partially decomposed body of Hemraj, the family’s domestic help, was recovered the very next day from the terrace.
The Talwars had previously been held guilty of the double murders, by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad, in 2013. Based on the evidence tendered by the prosecution, Judge S. Lal had said that the court had reached an “irresistible and impeccable conclusion that only the accused persons (Talwars) were responsible for committing this ghastly crime.” The couple was convicted for destruction of vital evidence, and Rajesh Talwar was additionally accused of giving false information to the police.
Rationality behind the High Court’s decision
The High Court (HC) judges ruled in favour of the Talwars as the evidence against them was half-baked and inconclusive. They dismissed the contention of the trial court, which was based on the inference that because only the parents were present in the house during the night of the murders, they were most likely to be the guilty party. The HC, however, believed that there was a possibility of the presence of outsiders.
The prosecution’s case in the CBI probe stemmed from the assumption that Rajesh and Nupur were provoked into executing murder on witnessing the intimacy of their daughter and the servant. This malignant proposition was accepted by the CBI even though there were no witnesses or pieces of evidence that testified to it.
The judges in HC trial denounced the CBI for “failing miserably” at providing any proof to suggest that Hemraj had been murdered in Aarushi’s bedroom and his body dragged to the terrace. They found the possibility of the Talwars hiding Hemraj’s body on the terrace of their flat to be “patently absurd and improbable”
The HC reflected that the conclusion drawn by the CBI was “illegal and vitiated” because it overlooked the evidence on record. Their decision came as a relief for the Talwars, who will now be released from the Dasna jail, where they were lodged since CBI’s conviction.
Talwar case: Ordeal by innocence or retribution for sin?
“Suspicion, however, grave it may be, cannot take the place of proof,” pronounced the judges of the Allahabad High Court.Either the Talwars are guilty and they have succeeded in hoodwinking the entire legal system; or they are innocent and have been grievously wronged, withering in prison for years lost.
In lieu of the circumstantial evidence, the HC proposed to consider the latter outcome. Their verdict was in unity with the Constitution of India which lays down that “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty.”
There is no direct evidence, no proven motive, no eyewitnesses or valid admission of guilt just sketchy theories. The CBI failed in providing clinching evidence and proving beyond reasonable doubt that the Talwars had actually committed the murders.
The Talwar case has been eclipsed by a botched police investigation, biased media narration and erroneous trial, since the start. Even after years of judicial grinding, Aarushi’s murder remains unsolved.
Photo via Visualhunt
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