The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted the Talwar couple- Rajesh and Nupur - in the 2008 murder case of their daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj, giving them the benefit of doubt. The High Court division bench of the high court comprising justices BK Narayana and AK Mishra rejected the CBI court order sentensing Talwar couple to life term saying the CBI has failed to produce evidence to prove the involvement of Talwars.
With this, Rajesh and Nupur, who are serving sentence in Ghaziabad prison, would be released on Thursday evening.
Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars' Noida residence with her throat slit on 16 May 2008. The needle of suspicion had initially moved towards 45-year-old Hemraj, who had gone missing, but his body was found on the terrace of the house two days later.
As the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over the shoddy investigation into the case which made national headlines, the then Chief Minister Mayawati handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A special CBI court in Ghaziabad in a 210-page exhaustive order had sentenced the couple with life imprisonment on 26 November 2013. However, reports have claimed several discrepancies in the investigation that led to the couple's conviction in the case.
In 2014, former CBI Director AP Singh had said there were "lacunae" in the probe carried out by the first CBI team under the then joint director Arun Kumar. Singh had said that Kumar was convinced that the parents of Aarushi were responsible for the double murder.
In 2015, an hour-long video reportedly surfaced on YouTube which shows Krishna, Talwar's assistant, purportedly saying that the joint director asked him to own up the crime on the promise of getting his sentence reduced.
After the conviction, the family members and friends of the Talwars continued to insist that the couple didn't commit the murder. In an open letter in 2015, Aarushi's grandfather had reportedly questioned the character assassination of Aarushi and her parents by the media and even the judgment that sent them to jail on a life term.
The double-murder case also inspired a book and a film, both of which weighed in favor of the Talwars, thus giving rise to debate over the case.