crimes against children

Aarushi-Hemraj murder: Allahabad High Court likely to deliver verdict on Talwars’ appeal today

In 2013, a special CBI court convicted the couple for the murder of the 14-year-old and sentenced them to life in prison.

The Allahabad High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on an appeal filed by Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, the dentist couple who were convicted in 2013 for killing their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and their household help Hemraj in Noida. The couple have challenged their conviction in the case.

The two were sentenced to life in prison by a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation in Ghaziabad in November 2013. Apart from the murders, they were also convicted of destroying evidence. Rajesh Talwar was convicted of giving false statements to the police.

In January, a division bench of the High Court, comprising Justice AK Mishra and Justice BK Narayana, reserved its judgment on the appeal, but later decided to hear the appeals afresh after it found contradictions in some submissions made by the CBI. It resumed hearing the plea in August.

The case

On May 16, 2008, Aarushi Talwar was found murdered inside her bedroom in the Talwars’ flat in Noida. The police initially suspected Hemraj of being the murderer, but his decomposed body was found a day later inside a locked room in the terrace of the building. The police then began to suspect the parents were involved and said Rajesh Talwar had murdered the two after finding them in an “objectionable” position.

The case was handed over to the CBI after the Noida Police was criticised for losing crucial forensic evidence during its investigation. The CBI exonerated the parents and suspected the Talwars’ assistant Krishna and two others, Rajkumar Sharma and Vijay Mandal, who worked as domestic help. This theory did not last and in 2009, the CBI handed over the investigation to another team.

This new team said the case should be closed because of critical gaps in the investigation. Based on circumstantial evidence, it named Rajesh Talwar as the sole suspect, but did not charge him because of lack of evidence.

A court, however, rejected the CBI’s claim that there was not enough evidence and said the Talwars should be tried. In November 2013, CBI judge Judge Shyam Lal pronounced the parents guilty of both murders and of destroying evidence. The trial court also ruled that there was no evidence to show that an outsider had entered the house after 9.30 pm on the night of the murder.

The counsel for the Talwars had argued that the case against them had been based entirely on circumstantial evidence and that they were innocent.

Both Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are in the Dasna jail.

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