Aarushi double-murder: SC admits plea challenging Talwars' acquittal
Nearly 10 years after their daughter was killed, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are still fighting to clear their name. They were acquitted in October'17 after four years of imprisonment. But Khumkala Banjade, widow of Hemraj, the second victim in the Aarushi Talwar double-murder case, challenged the court's decision. The CBI had also filed a similar petition. The SC has now admitted Banjade's appeal.
Aarushi found dead in room, Hemraj on the terrace
On May 16, 2008, 13-year-old Aarushi was found dead in her room. Initially, the domestic help Hemraj was suspected, but his body too was found the next day. Upon investigation, several names cropped up: the Talwars' former help, Rajesh's compounder, and helps of neighbors. The CBI finally accused Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. In November 2013, they were sentenced to life by a CBI court.
A case built on highly questionable circumstantial evidence
The case is a prime example of lack of evidence. Apparently, CBI conducted "scientific" tests with Shalimar paint as blood; medical opinions were taken from lab sweepers; and questionable claims were made after the autopsies. The judge had reportedly started writing the verdict weeks before arguments even began. Hindustan Times wrote, "Nobody knows (who killed Aarushi). Except the CBI, which doesn't have evidence."
After four years in prison, dentist couple released
In October'17, the Allahabad HC overturned the 2013 order, ruling there was "insufficient evidence" against the couple. It also pulled up the CBI for its questionable probe. Afterwards, Nupur said, "It was a very emotional moment. We were thinking of Aarushi. That's one tragedy we can't push past." When asked if the system had failed them, the couple said it was "clear to everybody."
CBI, Hemraj's widow challenge the Talwars' acquittal
After the Talwars' release, Khumkala said she wasn't surprised but rather saddened that the HC had let them walk free, canceling their life sentence. In December, Khumkala challenged their acquittal. She said the court had accepted that her husband was murdered, so investigators cannot abandon their responsibility to uncover Hemraj's murderer. The CBI too challenged the decision earlier this month.