By Aglaia Staff

Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were on Tuesday sentenced to life term by a CBI court after they were convicted of killing their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj five-and-a-half years ago.

49-year-old Rajesh and Nupur(48) were spared the death penalty by additional session judge Shyam Lal who rejected the CBI plea for maximum punishment after the premier probe agency submitted that the case fell in the “rarest of rare” category.

Arguing before the court on quantum of punishment in the sensational double murder that had gripped the nation as one of the most puzzling crimes ever, CBI counsel R K Saini argued that the killing was a cold-blooded murder and fell in the “rarest of rare” category.

Defence counsel Tanvir Mir countered CBI’s argument and said the evidence against his clients were weak and sought leniency for Talwars.

The arguments lasted just five minutes before the judge adjourned proceedings and pronounced he quantum of sentence at 4.30pm. The Talwar couple remained composed.

The Talwar couple were also sentenced for five years for destruction of evidence and Rajesh for another one year for filing wrong FIR with police. All the sentences pronounced by the judge, who relied heavily on the circumstantial evidence provided by the CBI, will run concurrently.

The dentist couple were on Monday convicted in the murder of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and 45-year-old Hemraj in a case that was awash with allegations of sleaze and sex, police goofs, CBI flip-flops and media bias. The judge also made a reference to freaks in the history of mankind who kill their own progeny.

The couple was convicted under IPC sections 302(murder), 201(destruction of evidence) and 34(common intention to commit the crime). Rajesh was also convicted separately for “furnishing false information to the police regarding the murder of his daughter by Hemraj(Section 203).

According to the CBI, the dentist killed Aarushi and Hemraj at their Noida home on May 15-16 night, 2008, in a fit of rage after finding them in an objectionable position. It says Nuput helped in the crime.

Rajesh’s brother Dinesh on Monday said they would definitely appeal against the conviction in the Allahabad high court. “The fight has just begun. It will continue,” he said, adding a lot of evidence has been ignored.

According to the CBI, the Talwars killed Aarushi in a fit of rage after finding her with Hemraj, who hailed from Nepal, in an “objectionable position”, suggesting the double-murder could be case of honour killing.

Aarushi was found on her bed with her throat slit on the morning of November 1, days before the birthday of the class nine student, at their residence in Noida, a Delhi suburb.

Police initially blamed the missing domestic servant Hemraj — only to find his decomposing body on the roof 24 hours later with a similar cut and head wounds.

“Now is the time to say omega in this case, to perorate it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused or the perpetrators of the crime in question.

“The parents are the best protectors of their own children. That is the order of the human nature but there have been freaks in the history of mankind where the father and the mother became the killer of their own progeny.

“They (Talwars) have extirpated their own daughter who hardly had seen 14 summers of her life and the servant without the compunction of terrestrial terrain in the breach of commandment ‘thou shall not kill’ and injunction of Holy Quran ‘take not life which god has made sacred’,” the judge, who is due to lay down office this month-end, said in his 204-page verdict on Monday.

Rajesh was arrested by Noida Police after the then inspector general Gurdarshan Singh alleged that the father had murdered his daughter. Later, he came out on bail after the case was handed over to the CBI.

Ironically, the CBI, which was handed over the case within a fortnight of the murders, initially gave Talwars a clean chit and pinned the blame on three domestic helps — Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay — who were arrested.

However, the CBI could not file a chargesheet in the stipulated three months time paving the way for their release on bail.

The then CBI director A P Singh was of the opinion that no case was made against the three domestic helps and constituted a new team to probe the case afresh.

The CBI later filed a closure report saying though there was enough suspicion about the role of the parents in the murder, they had no direct evidence to prove it.

The CBI judge took on record the closure report and after perusing it, decided to press murder charges against the couple.

The judge’s order said that Talwars have been convicted under Section 302 (murder), Section 201 (destruction of evidence) and Section 203 (providing false information).

The accused Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar are convicted under Sections 302 read with Section 34 (common intent) and 201 read with Section 34 IPC, it said.

“Dr Rajesh Talwar is also convicted under Section 203 IPC. Both the accused are sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC with a fine of Rs 10,000 each and in default of payment of fine to undergo six months simple imprisonment,” it said.

They have been given five years rigorous imprisonment under Section 201 read with Section 34 IPC with a fine of Rs 5,000 each and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment of three months.

“Dr Rajesh Talwar is also sentenced to one year simple imprisonment under Section 203 IPC with a fine of Rs 2,000 and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment of one month. All the sentences shall run concurrently,” the order read.

Serious miscarriage of justice: Talwars’ lawyers

Dubbing as “serious miscarriage” of justice the special CBI court verdict sentencing Rajesh and Nupur Talwar to life imprisonment for killing of Aarushi and Hemraj, the couple’s lawyers on Tuesday alleged that the two had been victim of a “witch hunt”.

“It is serious miscarriage of justice. Definitely it will be examined. We will be appealing in Allahabad high court. The verdict is unsustainable in the court. There has been a witch- hunt,” Talwars’ counsel Rebecca John said.

She alleged the case saw most “shocking abuse of power” by the CBI which investigated the 2008 double murder case of Talwars’ daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj in neighbouring Noida.

“It is the most shocking abuse of power (by the CBI). The kind of witch-hunt (they have done), I have never seen it. It is shocking and a sad day for India….

“I believe the Talwars are the victims of witch hunt and I believe that they should have been honourably acquitted in this case and not held guilty. A lot of fabrication has been done in this case,” John said.

Lawyers exchange blows outside court

Pandemonium broke out outside the CBI court on Tuesday soon after the Talwars were given life term in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case as lawyers jostled with each other and two of them came to blows in a bid to brief the TV channels.

As additional sessions judge Shyam Lal pronounced life imprisonment for Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for killing their daughter and domestic help, lawyers, unconnected with either defence or prosecution, rushed outside to brief the media.

As Naresh Yadav, who used to represent one of the servant’s earlier booked by the CBI, started briefing the media, another lawyer Sanjay Tyagi stood next to him to give his version.

Things turned ugly when the personal security officer (PSO) pointed his automatic weapon at Tyagi for his frequent interference while Yadav was giving bytes to TV channels.

This agitated Tyagi and his other colleagues and very soon they were seen exchanging blows with each other till others jumped into and separated the two.

Both sides hurled acquisition against each other and the verdict of Aarushi, at least for the two lawyers, had taken a back seat.


 Aarushi Murder: Its A Witchhunt
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