GHAZIABAD, Nov 25 – Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were Monday held guilty of murdering their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj five years ago in a case that grabbed the nation’s attention with dramatic twists and turns.
As Special CBI Judge Shyam Lal pronounce them guilty, the Talwars — who were well known doctors with a thriving practice — broke down, lawyers later said. But the couple insisted that they were innocent and vowed to fight for justice.
The quantum of punishment would be pronounced Tuesday.
Soon after, police took away the doctors to the Dasna prison in Ghaziabad district.
Aarushi, 14, and domestic help Hemraj, 45 and from Nepal, were found murdered at the Talwars’ plush residence in Noida bordering Delhi in May 2008.
Aarushi was found dead with her throat slit and the head battered May 16.
Police, who first believed that the missing Hemraj could be the killer, dramatically found his body from the terrace of the house a day later. He too had been killed in near similar fashion.
It marked the start of one of the most sensational crime cases India has known in recent times.
On Monday, the Talwars were booked under sections 302 (murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in futherance of common intention) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.
Rajesh Talwar was also booked under section 203 (misleading the probe).
As the media was not allowed inside the packed courtroom, it was Hemraj’s lawyer Naresh Yadav who came out and announced the “guilty” verdict.
He said when he entered the courtroom, the judge wanted to know if the couple was present. When they were pointed out, the judge looked at them and pronounced the verdict.
Immediately after the judgment, the Talwars said in a statement released by their lawyer that they were “deeply disappointed”.
“We are deeply disappointed, hurt and anguished for being convicted for a crime that has not been committed. We refuse to feel defeated and will continue to fight for justice,” the statement said.
The case was a virtual whodunit as it took several twists and turns.
Initially, police in Noida arrested Rajesh Talwar for the double murder, with officials speculating it could be an act of “honour killing”.
But as the police probe came under attack, then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati transferred it to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI first gave a clean chit to the Talwars and arrested the lab assistant of the Talwars and two others.
But they were released on bail after no concrete evidence was found against them.
Facing flak over the inept investigation, then CBI director Aswani Kumar formed a new team.
It was this team that again pointed the finger at the Talwars.
The latest trial got over Nov 12 – almost after 19 months – during which the CBI presented about 90 witnesses to prove that the parents were indeed guilty of the crime.
The Talwars maintain they did not kill their daughter or domestic help and that the CBI conclusions were based on presumptions, conjectures and surmises. IANS