Aarushi murder case: Convictions of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar a Tragedy of Errors

Aarushi murder case: Rajesh and Nupur Talwar Found Guilty
Aarushi murder case: Rajesh and Nupur Talwar Found Guilty

Ms. Aarushi daughter of Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar of NOIDA, UP was found murdered in the morning of 16.05.08 in her room. On 16.5.08 morning at around 6 a.m., Bharati, the maid working at Talwars, rang the doorbell as per her routine. Normally Hemraj, a 45 year old servant who used to live with the Talwars used to open the door to allow her inside. However on that morning Hemraj did not open the door. The mother of Aarushi, Dr. Nupur had called the mobile phone of Hemraj at 6:01 am. Bharati opened the latch of the door and walked in. By that time, Dr. Nupur and Dr. Rajesh were found standing in the dining area and opposite the door of Aarushi’s room respectively. Both were weeping and telling Bharati “Dekho Hemraj Kya Karke Gaya Hai?”. When Bharati looked in Aarushi’s room, she saw her dead body covered with a white bed sheet. Dr. Nupur removed the sheet from her face and showed it to Bharati. Police were informed by the family at around 7:15 am.

CBI filed closure report
CBI filed closure report
On the basis of written complaint received from Dr. Rajesh Talwar, a case under crime-no. 695/08 was registered under section 302 IPC at Police Station, Sect-20 Noida on 16.5.2008. Govt. of Uttar Pradesh issued a notification no. 1937-VI-P-3-2008-15(48) P/2008, Lucknow. Dtd. 29.05.08 giving consent for transfer of investigation of this case to CBI. Thereafter a notification was issued by DOPT, Govt. of India, New Delhi on 31.05.08 whereby the investigation of this case was transferred to CBI. The CBI first charged two other servants for murder of Aarushi but in absence of any evidence, both were bailed out. Thereafter, the CBI filed a closure report closing the case. The concluding paragraph is produced herein below:

26. The investigation revealed several suspicious actions by the parents [illegible text] occurrence, but the circumstantial evidence collected during investigation has critical and substantial gaps. There is absence of a clear cut motive and incomplete understanding of the sequence of events and non-recovery of one weapon of offence and their link to either the servants or the parents.

In view of the aforesaid shortcomings in the evidence, it is felt that sufficient evidence is not available to prove the offence U/s 302/201 IPC against accused Dr. Rajesh Talwar beyond reasonable doubt. It is, therefore prayed that the case may be allowed to be closed due to insufficient evidence.

Submitted please.

A.G.L. Kaul”
Addl. Supdt. of Police,
CBI, SC.II, New Delhi

Arushi's Parents Protested the Closure of the case
Aarushi’s Parents Protested the Closure of the case by CBI

The criminal justice system is sometimes wholly incomprehensible. In December, 2010, the CBI had filed the above closure report before the Court stating that they did not have sufficient evidence to prove the charge of murder against the Talwar family. Strangely, it was the the Talwars who objected to the closure report and demanded further investigation to book the real culprits. The matter was once again reopened and the Judgement as delivered today (25th November, 2013) which convicted both Dr Rajesh as well as Dr Nupur Talwar for the murder of their own daughter Aarushi and Hemraj.

As the Judgment is still not available, we can only express our shock and surprise in learning that a father and a mother, together, have been convicted for murdering their own daughter. Admittedly, this was a case where there were no eye witnesses of the murder and in such a situation, the law is extremely strict regarding the proof of the circumstantial evidence and the links between such evidence. The Supreme Court, in R. Shaji v. State of Kerala, AIR 2013 SC 651 has held:

The circumstances on the basis of which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn, must be fully established. The same must be of a conclusive nature, and must exclude all possible hypothesis, except the one to be proved. Facts so established must be consistent with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, and the chain of evidence must be complete, so as not to leave any reasonable ground for a conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused, and must further show, that in all probability, the said offence must have been committed by the accused.

If we apply the above principles to the facts of Aarushi case, we can certainly ask at this juncture, where did CBI procure full-proof circumstantial evidence to convict the Talwars after filing the closure report admitting that they did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute the Talwars in December, 2010! We have to wait for the Judgement to be published to get an answer to the riddle of the Aarushi murder case.