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Millennium Post

Lessons from the Aarushi verdict

As the guilty verdict on the Talwars has been unable to effect a closure on the unbelievable Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case, what is the way ahead? Of course, we need to appreciate and respect the judgment pronounced by the Ghaziabad court, based even though it was on an inconclusive report, full of loopholes that had been repeatedly pointed out by the defence counsels. There must be some good sense that prevailed on the judges pronouncing the verdict, although the Talwars would be contesting the verdict in the higher courts, where we can expect a more comprehensive analysis of the whole episode. The fact of the matter is presumption of innocence has to be maintained until there is foolproof evidence nailing the culprit. But can we sure that the verdict hasn’t been pronounced in this case to satisfy the collective conscience of the nation, which had been shaken to the core by the heinous double murders? Was this a case of honour killing? Was there something else involved, another angle to the story of a once happy family that has been shattered by the untimely and gruesome death of its only child, along with the domestic help? If the prosecution couldn’t answer all the questions and if the CBI report had several lacunae in it, on what unshakeable grounds was the judgment pronounced? Obviously, this is not the end of the Aarushi story and whether the Talwars have been the victim of a trial by media will only come to the fore as the case takes its course further.

Has justice been done to the memories of Aarushi, the vivacious 14-year-old who was the darling of her doting parents, until her life was disturbingly cut short? Haven’t the Talwars faced the wrath of the people for failing to safeguard their daughter’s life? And by baying for their blood for the past five years, haven’t we failed justice itself, since benefit of doubt must be given until there is an indefensible case against the person? There has been a media lynching of the Talwars, we can’t deny that, but perhaps it’s time to respect the verdict and let the judicial machinery take its course in assessing the extent and onus of the guilt.
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