Allahabad HC acquits Nupur, Rajesh Talwar; gives them benefit of doubt

NEW DELHI: The Allahabad high court (HC) on Thursday acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar of murdering their daughter Aarushi in May 2008.

In pronouncing them ‘not guilty’, the HC overturned a 2013 trail court ruling that found the couple guilty of murdering their daughter and their domestic help.

The Allahabad HC essentially gave the Talwars the
benefit of doubt+
.

On November 25, 2013, a special CBI court in Uttar Pradesh‘s Ghaziabad found the Talwars guilty of murdering Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj. They were sentenced to life in prison a day after the verdict. The Talwars are currently serving their life term in prison in Dasna jail in Ghaziabad.

In January 2014, the Talwars moved the Allahabad high court challenging the CBI court’s conviction and sentence.

On the night of May 15-16, 2008, Aarushi, eight days short of her 14th birthday, was found dead in her bedroom, with her throat slit, in the Talwars’ Jalvayu Vihar residence in the Delhi suburb of Noida.

At first, the main suspect was Hemraj, but two days later he, too, was found murdered and his body was recovered from the terrace of the house.

After a lot of criticism for reportedly shoddy investigation, the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati, handed the case over to the CBI on June 1, 2008.

The CBI’s handling of the case wasn’t free of controversy either. Two separate CBI teams reached opposing conclusions. One claimed a breakthrough thanks to “scientific evidence”, primarily narco-analysis test reports, and arrested three men – Rajesh Talwar‘s compounder Krishna and two domestic workers from the neighbourhood, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal. The three men were let go after the CBI failed to chargesheet them.

Then, the CBI constituted a second team to investigate. This one was had to file a ‘closure report’ in court, as investigators said they didn’t have enough evidence to charge anyone for the murders. The CBI special court rejected the ‘closure report’ and ordered the prosecution of the Talwars based on existing evidence.

After their prosecution, the Talwars were convicted of the murders by the CBI court. When they challenged the verdict in the Allahabad high court, they blamed the CBI for “shoddy investigation”.

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