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Aarushi-Hemraj murder: Judge to pronounce sentence today

November 26, 2013 00:39 IST

Image: Dentists Rajesh Talwar and wife Nupur are taken to court in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

Noted dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were on Monday convicted in the sensational double murder of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, more than five years after the crime whose probe saw many twists and turns and flip flops by the prosecution.

After a 15-month trial, Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal held both of them also guilty of destruction of evidence in the murder on the intervening night of May 15 and 16, 2008, days before the birthday of the class nine student in their residence in Noida.

The father was also convicted under section 203 of IPC for filing wrong information with the Noida police station about the incident.

Arguments on sentencing will be held on Tuesday after which the judge will announce quantum of sentence. The punishment for the couple could go up to a maximum of life term in jail.

Death for murder is given in rarest of rare cases.


Aarushi-Hemraj murder: Judge to pronounce sentence today

"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 said in his 204-page verdict. 

Dinesh Talwar, brother of Rajesh, told reporters outside the court that they would appeal against the verdict in the Allahabad high court.

After two adjournments since morning, the judge, who is to lay down office this month end, arrived in the high-security court room at 3.25 pm and summoned both the accused.

He read out the operative portion from his order that both the parents have been convicted for murder and destruction of evidence and on the charge of committing an act in furtherance of common intention.


Aarushi-Hemraj murder: Judge to pronounce sentence today

Image: Aarushi's home at Jalvayu Vihar in Noida

In a case that was widely speculated as a honour killing, 49-year-old Rajesh was also convicted on the charge of filing false FIR. Rajesh and Nupur, a year younger than husband, were said to have been angry over their daughter's liaison with 45-year-old Hemraj who hailed from Nepal.

The Talwar couple, who were well known dentists of Noida, broke into tears as they were taken into custody and were being taken to Dasna jail.

Judge Shyam Lal said they are also found guilty of secreting and obliterating the evidence of the commission of the murders to screen themselves from legal punishment.

"In addition to this Dr Rajesh Talwar has also been found guilty of furnishing false information to the police regarding the murder of his daughter by Hemraj.

"Dhramo Rakshati Rakshitaha (Dharma protects those who protect it)....Both accused have flouted the ferocious penal law of the land and therefore liable to be convicted under 302 read with 34. 201 read with 34. In addition to this, Dr Rajesh Talwar is also convicted also under 203 of the IPC," the judge said quoting scriptures.

Immediately after the verdict was delivered, a statement in the name of dentist couple was circulated on behalf of the couple which read "we are deeply disappointed, hurt and anguished for being convicted for a crime that we have not committed. We refuse to feel defeated and will continue to fight for justice."


Aarushi-Hemraj murder: Judge to pronounce sentence today

Rajesh's brother Dinesh said they would definitely appeal against the judgement in the high court. "The fight has just begun. It will continue," he told reporters outside the court, adding a lot of evidence has been ignored.

Defence lawyer Satyaketu Singh said the judgement was wrong in law and would be appealed against in the high court.

Counsel for one of the domestic helps, Fakir Chand Sharma, said he felt vindicated by the judgement today. "I was opposing tooth and nail, the charge against domestic helps as there was no evidence against them," he said.

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.


Aarushi-Hemraj murder: Judge to pronounce sentence today

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. Today's judgement came after 15 months of trial.

Answering questions on CBI's change of stand, prosecution lawyer R K Saini said investigation is a continuous process and ultimately the report filed in the court is final.

Security was beefed up outside the court premises. "Three DSPs, three station house officers, 90 constables and one platoon of PAC have been deployed outside the court," SP (City), Ghaziabad, Muniraj said. 

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