The dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar have been acquitted in the murder case of their only daughter Aarushi and domestic helper Hemraj in 2008, the Allahabad High Court said yesterday, stressing that it was giving them the benefit of the doubt. While the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court convicted the Talwars in 2013, the high court has taken a divergent view of the facts of the case and acquitted the parents.
Aarushi, 13, was found dead in her bedroom; while Hemraj was the main suspect till his body was found hours later on the roof of the Talwars residence in Noida. The CBI has said that it will study the high court verdict before deciding whether to appeal against the Talwar’s acquittal.
Following are the 10 reasons the Allahabad high court gave for its decision.
CBI could not prove motive for murders
Stressing that it was giving them the benefit of the doubt, the judges on Thursday said that the CBI had been unable to prove Talwars’ guilt. “There is no irresistible conclusion that accused did the murders,” they said. The motive suggested by the prosecution, it said, emerged from the crime scene analysis and reconstruction report prepared by Dr MS Dahiya on October 26, 2009, which is “based entirely upon his personal analysis and the incorrect information supplied to him by the investigating officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation to the effect that Hemraj’s blood was found on the pillow recovered from Aarushi’s bedroom”.
Murders were committed by outsiders
The court relied on the fact that the iron grill door of the Talwars’ house was bolted from outside, “which gives credence to the theory of outside hand in the murders”. It said the Talwars pleaded that they had slept throughout the night and did not hear anything. The murder of their 14-year-old daughter was discovered by them after their maid Bharti Mandal rung their doorbell.
Hemraj was not killed in the same room as Aarushi
The court said Hemraj’s blood was not found on the bedsheet and pillow of Aarushi and there was no evidence on record to prove that he was killed in Aarushi’s room. The conclusion that Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace and he had a slipper on one of his legs and the fact it was not planted on the body lends “credence to the alternate theory that Hemraj’s murder was committed” on the terrace of the Talwars’ house near the cooler.
Every person reacts differently
HC also rejected the federal probe agency’s theory that the conduct of the Talwars was not compatible with normal human behaviour after they discovered the murder of their daughter. The court said, “different persons react differently in a given situation”.
Golf club, surgical scalpels not crime weapons
HC said there is “absolutely no cogent or reliable evidence on record to persuade us to believe that golf club No 5 was the crime weapon”. It added no blood or DNA was found on any of the golf clubs. “Thus, we do not find that the prosecution has been able to prove that golf club and surgical scalpel were the crime weapons, which were used by the accused-appellants for committing the double murder.”
Internet router activity theory junked
The high court rejected the CBI’s internet activity theory to prove that Talwars were awake till late on May 16. It said, “It is not conclusively established that the internet activity noticed in the flat of the Talwars in the intervening night of 15th/16th May, 2008 was as a result of manual operation”.
Chain of circumstance not complete to prove Talwars’ guilt
The court said the chain of circumstances in the case “is not complete so as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the appellant”. “We do not find any reason to fasten the appellants with the guilt of double murder merely on the proof of the deceased being last seen alive with the appellants in their flat in the night of 15.05.2008 especially in view of the alternative hypothesis of the double murder covenanted in the prosecution case itself,” it said.
Aarushi Talwar was not sexually active
The court said Dr Dohre in his post-mortem report did not talk about Aarushi’s vaginal opening and it was pointed out only during the trial. “It is crystal clear, Dr Dohre’s evidence for the purpose of believing that she was subjected to any sexual intercourse or any fiddling or manipulating with her vaginal cavity was done after her murder does not inspire confidence and no credibility can be attached to the same,” the court said.
The court added it was proven “beyond all reasonable doubts” that Dr Raj like Dr Dohre too “committed medical blasphemy in supporting the prosecution case of sexual intercourse and consequent grave and sudden provocation theory”.
Suspicion, but grave it may be, cannot take the place of proof
“Circumstantial evidence was not adequate for a conviction beyond doubt,” the court said, adding that neither the circumstances nor the evidence on record established the couple’s involvement in the crime.
Talwar couple slept through
The Talwars’ explanation that they knew nothing as they were sleeping cannot be termed as “no explanation and/or false explanation”. The court said the CBI itself said from the evidence collected that it was proof enough that if “someone was sleeping in the Talwars’ bedroom with the air-conditioners on which were a bit noisy it was not possible for them to have heard the sounds of moving footsteps, closing and opening of doors inside the Talwars’ flat”.