Aarushi murder case: Setback for Talwars as SC admits CBI plea against their acquittal
The Allahabad High Court had in October 2017 acquitted Nupur and Rajesh Talwar, saying the couple could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record.india Updated: Aug 10, 2018 21:40 IST
The Supreme Court admitted on Friday an appeal against the acquittal of Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur over the murders of their daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj, reopening one of the country’s most infamous criminal cases that dragged on for years without a conclusive indication of who was behind it.
Combining appeals filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the wife of Hemraj, the top court issued a notice to the Talwars, who were in prison for four years until the Allahabad high court overturned their conviction in October last year noting the evidence to be largely circumstantial.
“CBI will now present its case before the top court to get the acquittal overturned,” said a CBI spokesperson. In its appeal, the agency called the high court’s ruling “wrong on many counts”.
In its written appeal, the agency said circumstantial evidence plays an important role in cases with no direct witness, and that the top court and high courts have previously upheld convictions on such bases.
Hemraj’s wife Khumkala Bandaje filed an appeal earlier, contending that the high court order meant no one killed her husband and the teenager.
Retired IPS officer, Vikram Singh, who was the director general of the UP police when was case was reported, said that he believed the Talwars were behind the deaths. “The Supreme Court will appreciate the evidence collected by the UP police in the first three weeks of the case,” he said, adding that he believes the crime scene had been “dressed up”.
On May 16, 2008, Aarushi was found murdered inside her bedroom in Noida’s Jal Vayu Vihar – her throat slit with surgical precision. The police initially suspected Hemraj, but his decomposed body was found a day later , behind a locked door on the terrace of the building.
The police then began to suspect the parents and said Rajesh murdered the two after finding them in an “objectionable” position.
The probe into the case hogged headlines for months, and sparked numerous conspiracy theories, a widely read book and a Bollywood film.
Many accused the police of tampering with key pieces of evidence and bungling the probe. The Talwars and friends accused the police of framing the couple in order to cover up a botched investigation.
Immediately after the murder, the Uttar Pradesh police drew flak for doing a shoddy job. The then chief minister Mayawati handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) where the case took several sensational turns.
Two CBI investigators reached opposite conclusions on the basis of more or less the same evidence.
The first team led by Arun Kumar claimed a breakthrough on the basis of “scientific evidence”, primarily narco-analysis test reports, and arrested three men— Talwar’s compounder Krishna and two domestic help working in the neighbourhood, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal. But the agency eventually failed to build a case against them.
Another team probed the parents but it too failed to build a case, filing a closure report.
When the couple objected to the CBI closing the case, the special court rejected the closure report and ordered prosecution of the parents on the basis of existing evidence, leading to their eventual conviction.
The couple was awarded life sentence by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad on November 26, 2013, a day after the conviction.
On October 16, 2017, the couple walked out of the prison in Uttar Pradesh’s Dasna, three days after the conviction was overturned.
First Published: Aug 10, 2018 12:42 IST