Aarushi case: CBI goes on appeal against Talwars acquittal

Aarushi Talwar

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the CBI’s appeal challenging the acquittal of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the 2008 twin murder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.

A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the CBI’s appeal would be heard along with Hemraj wife’s pending petition, which has also challenged the acquittal of the Talwars by the Allahabad High Court on 12 October last year.

“Leave granted,” the bench, also comprising justices Navin Sinha and K M Joseph, said.

Representing the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh referred to the plea filed by Hemraj’s wife, after which the bench said the probe agency’s appeal would be tagged with it.

Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found dead inside her room in TalwarsNoida residence with her throat slit in May 2008.

The needle of suspicion had initially pointed at 45-year-old Hemraj, who had gone missing, but his body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.

As the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over a shoddy probe into the case which was making national headlines, the then chief minister Mayawati had recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The case was subsequently handed over to the agency. A CBI court at Ghaziabad sentenced the Talwars to life imprisonment on 26 November 2013.

File photo of Talwars being released from jail.

The High Court, however, later freed them of the charges on the ground that they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record.

On 8 March, the CBI moved the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict, months after Hemraj’s wife, Khumkala Banjade, had on 15 December last year approached the top court against the 12 October verdict last year, acquitting the couple.

On 8 February, retired special CBI judge Shyam Lal, who convicted the Talwar couple in 2013, also moved the apex court against the High Court judgement seeking expunction of certain observations.

He had said the criticism against him in the Allahabad High Court verdict was “disparaging” and “unwarranted”. The High Court verdict had said the trial judge took evidence and circumstances of the case for granted and tried to solve it like a “mathematical puzzle when one solves a given question and then takes something for granted in order to solve that puzzle and question”.

It had also said “the trial judge cannot act like a maths teacher who is solving a mathematical question by analogy after taking certain figures for granted”.

The retired judge, in his plea, said the strictures passed against him were ultimately going to affect his reputation as an impartial and transparent judge and should be expunged.