Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: 10 reasons why Allahabad HC acquitted Rajesh, Nupur Talwar
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Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: 10 reasons why Allahabad HC acquitted Rajesh, Nupur Talwar

Fourteen-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found with throat slit and stab wounds on her head in her bedroom in May 2008. The Talwars’ servant Hemraj was found dead on the terrace of their building.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2017 14:40 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
2008 Noida double murder case‬,‪Talvar‬,‪Allahabad High Court‬
File photo of a condolence meeting after Aarushi Talwar’s murder in Noida. (HT)

The Allahabad high court on Thursday overturned the conviction of dentist couple Dr Rajesh and Dr Nupur Talwar for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj for lack of material evidence and motive.

While a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court convicted the Talwars in 2013, the high court has taken a divergent view of the facts of the case and acquitted the parents.

Here are the 10 reasons the high court gave for its decision:

1. CBI could not prove motive for murders

The high court said the prosecution suggested that the Talwars’ motive behind the murders was “grave and sudden provocation, caused on their finding their domestic help in a compromising position” with their daughter in her bedroom. However, it said, there was “not even an iota of evidence on record even remotely suggesting either Hemraj was assaulted in Aarushi’s bedroom or of any sexual activity between them”.

The motive suggested by the prosecution, it said, emerged from the crime scene analysis and reconstruction report prepared by Dr MS Dahiya on October 26, 2009, which is “based entirely upon his personal analysis and the incorrect information supplied to him by the investigating officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation to the effect that Hemraj’s blood was found on the pillow recovered from Aarushi’s bedroom”.

2. Murders were committed by outsiders

The court relied on the fact that the iron grill door of the Talwars’ house was bolted from outside, “which gives credence to the theory of outside hand in the murders”. It said the Talwars pleaded that they had slept throughout the night and did not hear anything. The murder of their 14-year-old daughter was discovered by them after their maid Bharti Mandal rung their doorbell.

“We have already discussed in detail, the evidence on record which proved that outer most iron grill door was not latched/locked from inside and the middle iron mesh door was latched/locked from outside when PW10 Bharti Mandal had arrived at the appellants flat in the morning of 16.05.2008 which suggested that the outsiders may have accessed into their flat on the fateful night and left after committing the double murder,” the court said.

3. Hemraj was not killed in the same room as Aarushi

The court said Hemraj’s blood was not found on the bedsheet and pillow of Aarushi and there was no evidence on record to prove that he was killed in Aarushi’s room. The conclusion that Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace and he had a slipper on one of his legs and the fact it was not planted on the body lends “credence to the alternate theory that Hemraj’s murder was committed” on the terrace of the Talwars’ house near the cooler.

4. Every person reacts differently

HC also rejected the federal probe agency’s theory that the conduct of the Talwars was not compatible with normal human behaviour after they discovered the murder of their daughter. The court said, “different persons react differently in a given situation”.

5. Golf club, surgical scalpels not crime weapons

HC said there is “absolutely no cogent or reliable evidence on record to persuade us to believe that golf club No 5 was the crime weapon”. It added no blood or DNA was found on any of the golf clubs. “Thus, we do not find that the prosecution has been able to prove that golf club and surgical scalpel were the crime weapons, which were used by the accused-appellants for committing the double murder.”

6. Internet router activity theory junked

The high court rejected the CBI’s internet activity theory to prove that Talwars were awake till late on May 16. It said, “it is not conclusively established that the internet activity noticed in the flat of the Talwars in the intervening night of 15th/16th May, 2008 was as a result of manual operation”.

7. Chain of circumstance not complete to prove Talwars’ guilt

The court said the chain of circumstances in the case “is not complete so as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the appellant”. “We do not find any reason to fasten the appellants with the guilt of double murder merely on the proof of the deceased being last seen alive with the appellants in their flat in the night of 15.05.2008 specially in view of the alternative hypothesis of the double murder covenanted in the prosecution case itself,” it said.

8. Aarushi not sexually active

The court said Dr Sunil Kumar Dohre in his post-mortem report did not talk about Aarushi’s vaginal opening and it was pointed out only during the trial. “It is crystal clear, Dr Dohre’s evidence for the purpose of believing that she was subjected to any sexual intercourse or any fiddling or manipulating with her vaginal cavity was done after her murder does not inspire confidence and no credibility can be attached to the same,” the court said.

The court added it was proven “beyond all reasonable doubts” that Dr Naresh Raj like Dr Dohre too “committed medical blasphemy in supporting the prosecution case of sexual intercourse and consequent grave and sudden provocation theory”.

9. Suspicion, however grave it may be, cannot take the place of proof

“Circumstantial evidence was not adequate for a conviction beyond doubt,” the court said, adding that neither the circumstances nor the evidence on record established the couple’s involvement in the crime.

10. Talwars slept through

The Talwars’ explanation that they knew nothing as they were sleeping cannot be termed as “no explanation and/or false explanation”. The court said the CBI itself said from the evidence collected that it was proof enough that if “someone was sleeping in the Talwars’ bedroom with the air-conditioners on which were a bit noisy it was not possible for them to have heard the sounds of moving footsteps, closing and opening of doors inside the Talwars’ flat”.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 13:34 IST