The Allahabad High Court on Thursday (Oct 12) acquitted dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar in the 2008 double murder case of their teenage daughter Aarushi Talwar and their domestic help Hemraj.
Nupur Talwar and Rajesh Talwar were sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly killing Aarushi and Hemraj. They had appealed in the Allahabad High Court against their conviction.
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been unable to gather evidence and prove that it was the Talwar couple who were the killers.
Hence the court acquitted Nupur and Rajest Talwar due to lack of evidence, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Here is everything you should know about the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double muder case of 2008:
1. On May 16, 2008, 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found dead with her throat slit in her bedroom of her Jal Vayu Vihar residence in Noida. The Talwars live-in domestic help Hemraj Banjade (45), who was missing at that time, was named as a suspect by Nupur and Rajesh Talwar.
2. On May 17, 2008, Hemraj’s decomposed body was recovered from the terrace of the Talwar residence.
3. On May 18, 2008, police suspected insider’s hand in the double murders as they were done with “surgical precision”. Meanwhile, Aarushi’s post-mortem report confirmed she was not sexually assaulted before murder.
4. On May 19, 2008, former Nepalese domestic help Vishnu Sharma was named as a suspect in the case.
5. On May 21, 2008, the Delhi Police joined the investigation and said the murder was done by “a doctor or a butcher”.
6. On May 22, 2008, the police named Aarushi’s parents Nupur and Rajesh Talwar as suspects and gave honour killing angle to the case. Aarushi’s close friend, with whom she spoke as many as 688 times in 45 days before her murder, was also quizzed.
7. On May 23, 2008 Aarushi’s father Dr. Rajesh Talwar was arrested for allegedly killing his daughter and Hemraj.
8. On June 1, 2008, the CBI joined investigations.
9. On June 13, 2008, The CBI arrested Rajesh Talwar’s compounder Krishna aka Kishan after his polygraph test and Narco Analysis test at Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore the day before. Talwar’s neighbour Praful and Anita Durani’s domestic help Vijay Mandal also had to undergo a lie detector test. A friend’s domestic help Raj Kumar was also arrested.
10. On June 19, 2008, The court extended the judicial custody of Rajesh Talwar up to July 2. His first lie detection test was inconclusive. So, application was moved for a second lie detection test.
11. On June 20, 2008, Rajesh Talwar underwent a second lie detection test.
12. On June 25, 2008, Nupur Talwar also had to undertake a second lie detection test as the first one was inconclusive.
13. On June 26, 2008, a special court in Ghaziabad refused bail to Rajesh Talwar. Meanwhile, the CBI declared the case as a “blind” one.
14. On July 3, 2008, the Supreme Court rejected a plea challenging the narco-analysis test on the accused.
15. On July 12, 2008, The Ghaziabad court granted bail to Rajesh Talwar due to lack of evidence.
16. On January 5, 2010, the CBI moved the court to conduct a narco-analysis test on the Talwars.
17. On December 29, 2010, the CBI submitted a closure report on the case, in which clean chit were given to servants, while the parents were put under scanner, despite inadequate evidences against them.
18. On January 25, 2011, unknown people attacked Rajesh Talwar on the Ghaziabad court premises.
19. On February 9, 2011, taking cognizance of the CBI report, the Ghaziabad court charged Nupur and Rajesh Talwar with murder and destruction of evidence. Bailable warrants were issued against the Talwars.
20. On February 21, 2011, the couple moved the Allahabad High Court against the trial court summons.
21. On March 18, 2011, the Allahabad High Court dismissed the Talwars’ plea to quash summons by the trial court. Instead the high court ordered preceedings to be initiated against them.
22. On March 19, 2011, the Supreme Court stayed trial against the Talwars after the couple approached the apex court.
23. On January 6, 2012, the Talwars’ plea was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
24. On June 11, 2012, Trial of the Talwars in the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case started before Special Judge S Lal.
25. On April 30, 2012, Nupur Talwar was arrested in the case.
26. On May 25, 2012, the Ghaziabad court charged the Talwars with murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence.
27. On September 25, 2012, Nupur Talwar was granted bail.
28. In April 2013, the CBI told the court that Aarushi and Hemraj were caught in objectionable and compromising position and hence were murdered by Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.
29. On May 3, 2012, the defence wanted to summon 14 witnesses, including former CBI joint director Arun Kumar. The CBI opposed the plea.
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30. On May 6, 2012, the trial court dismissed the defence’s plea to summon 14 witnesses. Instead, it ordered that Nupur and Rajesh Talwar’s statements to be recorded.
31. On Oct 10, 2012, the final arguments in the case began.
32. On Oct 18, 2012, in its closing arguments, the CBI said the Talwars misled the investigation process.
33. On Nov 25, 2012, a special CBI court convicted the couple and sent them to Dasna jail in Ghaziabad.
34. On Nov 26, 2012, the CBI court remanded the couple to life imprisonment.
35. On January 21, 2014, the Talwars move the Allahabad High Court against the CBI court’s sentence.
36. On September 5, 2016, Nupur Talwar was granted parole for three weeks to attend to her ailing mother.
37. On January 11, 2017, the Allahabad High Court reversed its judgement on Talwars’ appeal against their conviction.
38. On October 12, 2017, the Allahabad High Court acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the double muder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.