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India
10 Aug 2018

Aarushi-Hemraj double-murder: SC to hear CBI appeal against parents' release

SC to hear plea challenging Talwars' release

Ten years after their daughter Aarushi was killed, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are still fighting to clear their name in the ghastly crime.

The SC has admitted an appeal by CBI, which claimed their acquittal was wrong on "many counts."

It has issued notice to the Talwars.

Earlier, it admitted a similar petition by the widow of Hemraj, the second victim in the double-murder.

In context

SC to hear plea challenging Talwars' release
Aarushi found dead in room, Hemraj on the terrace

Backstory

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.

CBI investigation

A case built on highly questionable circumstantial evidence

The case was touted as a prime example of lack of evidence. 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."

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Acquittal

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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."

Challenge

CBI, Hemraj's widow challenge the Talwars' acquittal

After the Talwars' release, Khumkala, Hemraj's widow, 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 in December.

No value for a poor man's life: Hemraj's wife

In an interview, Khumkala said: "The focus has always been the death of Aarushi. Who cares about the death of an innocent man? No one really talks about giving justice to my dead husband. We are praying for a miracle...we have no options left."

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