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The Allahabad High Court, today (Thursday, 12th October, 2017) acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, the couple accused of the infamous double murder of their daughter Aarushi Talwar and their domestic help, Hemraj.
The High Court bench consisting of Justice BK Narayana and Justice AK Mishra gave the couple the benefit of the doubt while citing various loopholes and shortcomings in the probe conducted. The court held that the lower court’s verdict had to be set aside due to the lack of irresistible proof against the couple.
Rajesh Talwar, reportedly, broke into tears when the verdict was announced and hugged the jail officials. His wife, Nupur Talwar, was praying when the verdict was announced.
The couple was found guilty and convicted for the offences of murder, conspiracy, destruction of evidence, misleading the probe and filing a wrong FIR by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad 25th November 2013 and was awarded a life sentence the next day i.e. on 26th November 2013.
The court’s reasoning was based on highly circumstantial evidence and the “last seen” principle according to which the court held that the murder had to be an inside job since the victims were last seen in the presence of the Talwars right before they were killed.
What is Circumstantial Evidence?
A collection of unrelated facts and strung together to draw a conclusion is a highly disruptive method to convict the accused, especially, in light of such a brutal murder. In order to convict the accused solely on the basis of circumstantial evidence, it should be wholly inconsistent with the innocence of the accused and it must be consistent with his guilt.
In other words, the circumstantial evidence should not incline even to a minuscule degree towards the innocence of the accused. There must not be the presence of even one fact that might imply that the accused is not guilty. He must be wholly and completely void of any blamelessness.
ALSO READ: Guilty or framed? The Talwar couple.
The Botched Up Investigation By The Police
Now, let’s come to the evidence stacked up by the police against the acquitted couple. The police had developed two theories as of motive for Dr. Rajesh Talwar to commit the murders of his daughter, Aarushi and his servant, Hemraj.
One, that Rajesh Talwar witnessed his daughter and his servant in a compromising position, leading him to fly into a rage that resulted in their death and, two, that Hemraj confronted Aarushi and blackmailed Rajesh Talwar regarding his extramarital affair with a family friend, leading to a scuffle, resulting in his and Aarushi’s death.
Although no evidence was ever found against Rajesh Talwar for the same, the police remained adamant in their stance and refused to budge.
Domestic Servants Committed The Crime – Theory Pushed Aside DUE TO Lack Of Evidence
When the case was transferred to the CBI, the team that was initially appointed suspected Hemraj and his two colleagues of committing the offence. The CBI also conducted a narco-analysis on the three suspects wherein the videos show them admitting their involvement in the murder. It was suspected that the three “colleagues” of Hemraj (namely, Krishna, Rajkumar, and Vijay) killed Aarushi after trying to sexually assault her which was witnessed by Hemraj and therefore resulted in his death.
This evidence, though damning against the three domestic servants, was deemed inadmissible in a court of law by the Supreme Court.
Talwars Committed The Crime – Theory Accepted INSPITE OF Lack Of Evidence
The case was subsequently handed over to a new CBI team in September 2009, who suspected the Talwar couple. They submitted a closure report that stated that the three domestic servants were not involved in the crime, and since the narco tests could not be relied upon, the CBI gave them a clean chit.
They also stated that the possibility of any outsider committing the murders was highly doubtful since no forced signs of entry were found. Hence, the lack of evidence pointed towards the Talwars as the obvious suspects.
In January 2011, when the Talwars filed a petition against the CBI in Ghaziabad Court in an attempt to close the case, and the sessions court converted the CBI’s closure report into a charge-sheet and then later a case was filed against them, resulting in their conviction.
This verdict by the Allahabad High Court comes after a nine-year ordeal faced by the parents who were convicted of the murder of their 14-year-old daughter found brutally killed in her bedroom on 16th May 2008.
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