Lucknow, October 12
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj in 2008.
The verdict ends a nine-year ordeal of the parents who were found guilty by a CBI court of murdering 14-year-old Aarushi in a fit of rage because they suspected her of having an affair with Hemraj.
The CBI may challenge the high court decision in the Supreme Court.
A Division Bench of the court comprising justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra upheld the Talwars’ appeal against the CBI court order sentencing them to life imprisonment on November 26, 2013.
Pronouncing the verdict in a packed court room, the Bench said that it is a fit case where benefit of doubt can be given to the appellants and set aside the judgment of the CBI court convicting the Talwars.
Earlier, on September 7, the court had reserved its judgment in the case, which shook the conscience of the nation and saw several twists and turns.
Reacting to the verdict, the CBI said it would study the high court order and decide the future course of action.
Nupur and Rajesh Talwar have been serving their sentence in Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail.
Jailor of the Gaziabad’s Dasna prison Dadhiram Maurya said the Talwars felt they have got justice and were praying.
“After having breakfast they were praying. Their schedule was normal. She (Nupur Talwar) said they got justice today and had tears of joy.
“Any person after spending this amount of jail will feel happy to get freedom. So they were happy after they were told about the news,” he said.
Lawyer Rebecca John, who was part of Talwars’ legal team, said she was relieved by the judgment. She claimed the whole case was based on “innuendos” and would “not have carried through”.
John, who is a family friend of the couple, hoped that the Talwars, who have been in media spotlight for over nine years, will be allowed privacy after their release from the jail.
Jail sources said the couple was likely to walk free tomorrow.
Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars’ Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008. The needle of suspicion had initially moved towards 45-year-old Hemraj, who had gone missing, but his body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.
As the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over shoddy investigation into the case which was making national headlines, the then chief minister Mayawati handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).