Four years after a special CBI court convicted the dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar of murdering their teen daughter Aarushi at their Noida apartment in 2008, the Allahabad High Court set aside the conviction.
A division bench of Justices BK Narayana and AK Mishra cleared the couple's murder charges saying that they could not be held guilty on the basis of mere suspicion.
The Special CBI court in Ghaziabad had sentenced the couple to life imprisonment in 2013 for not only murdering their own daughter but also killing their domestic help Hemraj, based on circumstantial evidence.
The couple has been serving the sentence since November 2013.
âNone of the circumstantial evidence did not indicate the guilt of the accused,â the defense counsel Tanveer Mir told Times Now, following the acquittal.
âWe always knew they were not guilty,â Aarushi's grandfather told News18.
On May 16, 2008, 14-year-old Aarushiâs body was found in her house in Noida, and initially, the Talwarsâ domestic help, Hemraj, was suspected of murdering her. However, the very next day, Hemrajâs body was found in the apartmentâs water tank.
The police had then said that both of them were killed with âsurgical precisionâ by an insider.
The case got substantial media attention, and the Delhi police also got involved in the investigation, four days after the bodies were found.
The police then arrested Aarushiâs father, Rajesh Talwar on May 23, 2008, and started probing the twin murders as a case of honour killing.
On June 1, 2008, the Central Bureau of Investigation was tasked with the investigations.
Following the CBIâs involvement, Krishna, Rajeshâs compounder, was arrested and later acquitted.
After two lie detection tests of Rajesh Talwar at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, the CBI had called it a âblind caseâ - with no conclusive evidence - on June 26.
Rajesh Talwar was then refused bail by the Ghaziabad magistrate. Later, he was let out on bail on July 12.
The CBI filed a closure report on December 29, 2009 citing insufficient evidence after conducting polygraph tests. But the Talwars remain the prime suspects while the domestic help and the compounder got clean chits. Dismissing the closure report, the trial court said that the couple should be tried for the murders as there was no evidence to prove that their house was broken into.
On February 21, 2011 the Talwars approached the Allahabad High Court after the CBI court summoned the couple to face murder charges.
After the HC dismissed their plea to discontinue the trial on March 18. The couple approached the Supreme Court after that.
In January 2009, the Supreme Court asked Rajesh Talwar to continue appearing in the trial court, though he could continue to be on bail.
The couple was finally convicted by the CBI trial court in November 2013.