Aarushi murder case: SC admits plea against acquittal of dentist couple Rajesh, Nupur Talwar
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal against the acquittal of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the murder of their daughter, Aarushi, and their domestic help, Hemraj.
The appeal was filed by Hemraj’s wife, Khumkala Banjade. The Allahabad high court had acquitted the Talwars on October 10 last year.
A bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi condoned the delay in filing the appeal and also granted leave while admitting it. This means that Banjade’s petition would be heard at length, but not before four years. Court also summoned the case record from the trial court.
As per the Supreme Court rules, once a petition is admitted then the court gives it a detailed hearing, providing sufficient opportunity to both sides to present their case. Arguments are advanced on settled questions of law and a comprehensive judgment follows the hearing. Admitted cases are usually heard by regular benches. Currently, criminal appeals filed in 2014 and 2015 are being heard.
Banjade has claimed in her appeal that the HC order meant no one committed the twin murder in 2008, and has sought the guilty must be punished. Hemraj worked as a domestic help with the Talwars. His body was found a day after the couple discovered the body of their daughter.
Challenging the verdict, Banjade contended it was the primary responsibility of the government and authorities to ensure that the culprit was brought to book as society would not be secure if no one was punished.
Prosecuting agency CBI’s appeal, however, is yet to be heard by the apex court. According to lawyers involved in preparing the appeal, CBI is yet to cure defects pointed out by the court registry.
CBI has said the high court had erred in reversing the well-reasoned order of a Ghaziabad trial court which had scrutinised the entire gamut of circumstantial evidence and “rightly applied” the “last seen with” theory in convicting the Talwar couple.
The Ghaziabad CBI court had on November 26, 2013 sentenced the Talwars to life imprisonment in the sensational double-murder case. On October 12, the HC had reversed the conviction, saying they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record.
Prior the couple facing trial, CBI had filed a closure report on the grounds that it was unable to bring murder charges against anyone because of insufficient evidence. But the trial court had rejected the closure and proceeded with the trial against the Talwars, noting there was enough circumstantial evidence against them.
CBI has said in its appeal that the HC failed to take into account important circumstantial evidence and also discarded the “demeanour of the parents” immediately after the murders were discovered. This, it said, was an important pointer towards their role in the crime.