Bala Krishna Narayana, Arvind Kumar Mishra-I
Can parents commit murder of their own daughter?
• The appellant with her husband Dr. Rajesh Talwar and their daughter Ms. Aarushi Talwar along with a Nepali house help Hemraj Banjade resided in Noida, Delhi.
• One morning, Aarushi was found murdered in her bedroom and suspicion to murder her was against Hemraj Banjade.
• Two days later, the dead body of Hemraj was recovered from the building’s terrace and a question as to who committed the double murders had arisen.
• The police considered Aarushi's parentsDr. Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwaras the prime suspects as no one else other than them were present in the house.
• The police suspected that Rajesh Talwar had murdered the two after finding them in an objectionable position, or because Rajesh's alleged extra-marital affair had led to his blackmail by Hemraj and a confrontation with Aarushi.
• The accusations enraged the Talwars' family and friends, who accused the police of framing the Talwars in order to cover up the botched-up investigation.
• The case was then transferred to the CBI, which exonerated the parents and suspected the Talwars' assistant Krishna Thadarai and two domestic servantsRajkumar and Vijay Mandal.
• Based on the narco interrogation conducted on the three men, the CBI assumed that they had killed Aarushi after an attempted sexual assault, and Hemraj for being a witness.
• The CBI was accused of using dubious methods to extract a confession, and all the three men were released after it could not find any solid evidence against them.
• In 2009, the CBI handed over the investigation to a new team, which recommended closing the case due to critical gaps in the evidence.
• Based on circumstantial evidence, it named Rajesh Talwar as the sole suspect, but refused to charge him due to lack of any hard evidence.
• The parents opposed the closure report, calling CBI's suspicion on Rajesh as baseless. Subsequently, a special CBI court rejected the CBI's claim that there was not enough evidence, and ordered proceedings against the Talwars.
• In November 2013, the parents were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, but many critics argued that the judgment was based on weak evidence. The Talwars challenged the decision in the Allahabad High Court.
• It was contended that the police did not conduct the investigation properly and suspicion of parents committing the murder of their child is baseless and unacceptable.
• The respondent contends as there was no one else other than the parents who are the prime suspects shall be punished.
The court acquitted the parents of Aarushi Talwar, calling the evidence against them unsatisfactory and severely criticizing the police, CBI and the media for not having investigated the murder properly.
-Para 264 (Dr. Mrs. Nupur Talwar vs State of U.P. And Anr.)