Aarushi-Hemraj Murder Case – Shoddy Probe, Flawed Verdict?Rajesh and Nupur Talwar saw their world crumble before being sent to jail for the murder of their daughter Aarushi. Ushinor Majumdar chronicles the five-year saga of a verdict foretold
The butler didn’t do it. Matter of fact, the butler was also done away with. So, by process of elimination, those who remained did it: in this case, the parents. After more than five years of struggling with lack of “clear and clinching” evidence, an overzealous media and a family — that is even now trying to come to terms with their daughter’s murder — the CBI has finally “solved” India’s most famous whodunit: the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murder. In a 210-page judgment, on 26 November, a CBI court in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, concluded that Dr Rajesh Talwar and his wife Dr Nupur Talwar were guilty of killing their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and 45-year-old domestic help Yam Prasad Banjade aliasHemraj and sentenced them to life imprisonment under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The court further ruled that the couple would have to serve a concurrent term of five years imprisonment each for concealing and destruction of evidence and another year was handed to Rajesh for filing a false FIR. As it were, the court’s verdict was on expected lines; the lynch mob had already made up its mind. The media, playing to the gallery, had done its bit in the deliverance of “justice”. In more ways than one, everyone had played Sherlock Holmes. Armchair detectives thrashed out the case on the Internet and the electronic media, doling out theories of how the murders had been committed. A case has been built on questionable circumstantial evidence without giving the parents of the murdered girl the benefit of doubt. This, despite the fact that at one point the investigators were forced to admit in their closure report that they could not build a convincing story from their findings. It is not a case of “this definitely...
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