- On the night of May 15-16, 2008, Aarushi, barely eight days short of her 14th birthday, was found dead in her bedroom.
- The main suspect was Hemraj, whose body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.
NEW DELHI/ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad high court on Thursday is likely to decide the fate of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, serving a life term for murdering their daughter, Aarushi, and domestic help Hemraj in 2008.
On the night of May 15-16 that year, Aarushi, barely eight days short of her 14th birthday, was found dead in her bedroom with her throat slit in Noida’s Jalvayu Vihar. The main suspect was Hemraj, who was missing early morning. In a sensational twist, his body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.
A division bench of the high court, comprising justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra, had reserved its judgement on September 7 on an appeal filed by the dentist couple, fixing October 12 as the date for the verdict. HC may evaluate some of the key points in the case which formed the basis for the trial court to convict the couple but have been questioned by the defence.
For instance, the HC may give a finding on the motive for the killing and also re-evaluate the testimony of some key witnesses as the defence had pointed out during trial that these witnesses were admittedly tutored by the prosecution, a fact which the trial court found nothing wrong with.
Immediately after the murder, as the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over shoddy investigations and claims of honour killing in the case which was making national headlines, the then chief minister, Mayawati, handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
However the probe saw sensational twists and turns when two CBI investigators reached opposite conlusions on the basis of more or less the same evidence. The first team led by Arun Kumar claimed a breakthrough on the basis of “scientific evidence”, primarily narco-analysis test reports, and arrested three men — Talwar’s compounder Krishna and two domestic helps working in the neighbourhood, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal. But the agency failed to chargesheet the accused, resulting in their discharge.
The couple were awarded life sentence by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad on November 26, 2013, a day after their conviction and are at present serving their sentence in Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail. In their appeal, they have blamed the CBI for shoddy investigations and challenged their conviction.