NEW DELHI: After a nine-year struggle, Dr Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday, after the Delhi High Court found them to be innocent of killing their teen daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj in 2008.
The relatives of the couple are equally relieved, with Vandana Talwar, Aarushi's aunt, saying that the entire family had suffered for nearly a decade as the case dragged on.
"We are deeply relieved and thankful to God for the verdict. It has been an exhausting and extremely trying journey for our family," she said.
She said the family was grateful to the high court for having acquitted Rajesh and Nupur, bringing to an end the injustice meted out to them.
"Our family, friends, the team of lawyers and people who were not even known to us before this tragedy happened; I would like to thank all the people who supported us throughout this long ordeal," Vandana told reporters.
Sources said that the Talwar couple would likely be released on Friday, after they receive the court judgment through official channels.
14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found dead, with her throat slit, inside her room at the Talwars' Noida residence May 2008.
The walls in her room were splattered with blood, but the toys on the bed near the wall were spotless.
Suspicion initially went moved towards the Talwars' 45-year-old domestic help Hemraj, who went missing the same day Aarushi was murdered. However, during their search, investigators found the body of Hemraj the very next day on the terrace of the Talwars' house. The door to the terrace was found to be locked from the inside.
After ruling out the role of any of the family's former servants, the police considered Rajesh and Nupur as the prime suspects in their daughter's murder. The weapons reportedly used to commit the murders were a golf club – to cause head injuries – and a scalpel – to slit the throat.
In 2013, a Ghaziabad court held the Talwar couple guilty for the double murder of their daughter and Hemraj, and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
Thursday's order by the Allahabad High Court, however, acquitted them of the double murder. Currently, the couple are lodged in Ghaziabad's Dasna jail to serve their sentence.
Who killed Aarushi: Nine years on, still no answers
NEW DELHI: Though the Allahabad High Court acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj, the question that once again haunts investigators is who actually committed the murders.
Those who have been tracking the case closely told Millennium Post that weak evidence made the murder the "most mysterious" case in the country, leading to the acquittal of Aarushi's parents.
The only evidence that led the Talwars' conviction in 2013 was circumstantial and several questions in the case also popped up about the crime scene having bee interfered with.
Blood stains were seen on the walls, but no blood on the toys on Aarushi's bed near the wall was a question that perplexed many investigators.
A wet patch on Aarushi's bed indicated the sheet was cleaned with water.
However, had the Talwars 'dressed up' the scene, they would not have left the bloodied whiskey bottle, palm, and shoe prints around the house.
Retired Deputy Superintendent of Police K K Gautam, who had closely followed the case, stated that the punishment given to the Talwars was based on the closure report, which
suggested that there was lack of evidence.
"During investigation, if there is lack of investigation, the case remains a mystery," said Gautam.
Another point of contention was that at the time of Aarushi's murder, when Nupur Talwar had made a phone call to Hemraj, he was already dead.
However, the identity of the person who answered Hemraj's cellphone in the morning still remains a mystery.
Some witnesses were also reportedly coerced, and several tests, such lie-detection, psychoanalysis and narco analysis on several persons, took place.
Despite these tests, the murder remains a mystery.
Right from the beginning, the Talwars and their friends had accused the police of framing Rajesh in order to cover up for the poor investigation.
As a result, the Uttar Pradesh government had back then transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which exonerated the parents and suspected their assistant Krishna and two other domestic servants Rajkumar and Vijay.
Based on the narco tests conducted on the three men, the CBI suspected they had killed Aarushi. They then allegedly murdered Hemraj for being a witness.