In a major twist in the tale, the Allahabad High Court today acquitted Dr Rajesh and Dr Nupur Talwar of the muder of their 14-year-old daughter, Aarushi.
Nearly nine years ago, in 2008-2009, two CBI teams investigated the murder that took place in the Jalvayu Vihar area of Noida, Sector 25.
Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, currently in Ghaziabad's Dasna jail, were convicted on November 25, 2013, and sentenced to life imprisonment on November 26 by the Ghaziabad-based special CBI court.
The Talwars had then filed a petition at the Allahabad High Court against the special court's sentence. On this, the High Court bench comprising Justice BK Narayan and Justice AK Mishra reserved its judgment on September 7 and fixed October 12 as the date of the verdict.
On May 16, 2008, the body of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was recovered from her house in the Jalvayu Vihar area in Noida. Initially, Hemraj, the Talwars’ domestic help, was the prime suspect, but two days later, his body, too, was found on the terrace of the house.
Mayawati, then Uttar Pradesh's chief minister, handed over the investigation to the CBI.
The two murder theories
The then inspector-general (IG) Gurdarshan Singh, while referring to the investigation by Noida Police, had said that Dr Rajesh Talwar had killed his daughter Aarushi after seeing her and Hemraj in an objectionable position. He said that Talwar first killed Hemraj and later killed Aarushi. However, as pressure mounted, he changed his theory and said that Talwar, angered over the illicit relationship between the two, first killed Aarushi and then Hemraj. The police added that Dr Nupur Talwar, Aarushi’s mother, was also involved in the double murder.
Investigation by two CBI teams
After questions were raised on the investigation by Noida Police, the case was transferred to the CBI on May 29, 2008. The first team, led by joint director Arun Kumar Singh, accused Krishna, who worked in Dr Talwar's dental clinic; Rajkumar, who worked as a house help with the Talwars; the Durranis, a couple close to Talwars; and Vijay Mandal, who worked in the neighbourhood. After this, the case was investigated by a second CBI team in September 2009. This team gave a clean chit to the three servants and held the Talwars as the main accused based on circumstantial evidence.
Journey from crime to punishment