Almost four years after being convicted for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj by a special CBI court, Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar will walk of the Dasna jail today as the Allahabad High Court on Thursday overturned the lower court verdict, asserting that there was “no irresistible evidence” against the dentist couple.
“There is no irresistible conclusion that the accused committed the murders. All circumstantial evidences do not connect with each other to conclude that the Talwars committed the murders,” the court said.
While the Noida-based dentist couple will walk of the jail on Friday, the sensational double-murder continues to remain a mystery as even the CBI court had held the Talwars guilty on the basis of evidence on record.
Following the acquittal of the Talwars by the Allahabad High Court, an obvious question that continues to reign everyone’s mind is that if Aarushi’s parents did not kill her and the domestic help Hemraj, then who did?
The botched-up investigation by the Uttar Pradesh police which drew flak, followed by the probes done by the two teams of CBI, which came up with extremely contradictory conclusions, have left a lot many questions unanswered.
Here is an insight into some of the aspects of the case that have left the sensational double-murder a mystery unsolved for nine years now.
Shoddy police investigation and contradictory CBI probes
14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found dead on her bed with her throat slit on the morning of May 16, 2008, while Talwars’ domestic help Hemraj, who was missing since the intervening night of May 15 and May 16 and was considered as the prime suspect, was found dead on the terrace of the apartment.
The Noida police – the first response team to the crime scene – came under heavy criticism for failing to preserve evidences and the crime scene.
Hopes for the murder mystery to come to an end rose when the investigation was handed over to the CBI.
Also Read: Aarushi Talwar murder case: Talwars acquitted as Allahabad HC finds ‘no irresistible evidence’
The CBI team, led by joint director Arun Kumar, conducted the probe between June 2008 and April 2009, and came up with the conclusion that Talwars’ assistant Krishna along with two domestic servants Raj Kumar and Vijay may have killed Aarushi and Hemraj.
Based on the narco tests conducted on the three suspects, the CBI suspected that they had killed Aarushi after an attempted sexual assault. They then allegedly killed Hemraj for being a witness.
However, all three were subsequently released on the basis of lack of concrete evidence.
The case was then handed over to a second CBI team, led by Deputy Director Nilabh Kishore, in May 2009.
While Arun Kumar's team gave a clean chit to Aarushi's parents and put the blame squarely on the three servants, the second team pointed a finger at Aarushi's father, Rajesh Talwar, absolving the servants.
In a completely different version, Kishore's report said that the three domestic helps - Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal - were not present at Talwars' house at the time of murder.
It also claimed that after Aarushi was killed, her private parts were cleaned, and so were the bloodstains and drag-marks on the staircase that lead to the terrace.
Unlike Arun Kumar's team, Kishore did a narco-analysis on the Talwars. In its closure report, the CBI says that "there is no evidence against the servants except the narco test which was unreliable". In the same report they say that scientific tests on Talwars "have not conclusively indicated their involvement in the crime".
Maid’s statement on the outermost grille of the flat
Bharti Mandal – Talwars’ domestic help – arrived at the flat around 6am on May 16, 2008. Her statement to the court proved vital for the prosecution.
According to her, the outermost grille of the flat did not open when she put a hand over it. By that time, Nupur Talwar (who she calls ‘aunty’) opened the inner wooden door and told her that Hemraj might have locked the door from outside while going out to fetch milk.
Nuput told her to go down, so that she can throw the key from the balcony. Bharti returned with the key, and she put a hand over the grille-door, it opened.
Also Read: Aarushi Talwar murder mystery: Who killed Aarushi, Hemraj? Here's what happened on that night
The Talwars then tell her to see what Hemraj has done. Bharti walked into Aarushi’s room, and saw her body covered with a white sheet.
Bharti’s statement supported the second CBI theory that the outermost grille was never closed from outside. The probe team had argued that in the time Mandal went down to catch the key, Nupur opened the grille, which was latched from inside.
This also indicated towards the CBI theory that there was no ‘forced entry’ into the flat.
The murder weapons – golf club, ‘khukri’ and scalpel
The CBI said that the weapons used to commit the murders were a golf club to cause a head injuries and a scalpel to slit the throat. However, the CBI never seized any of the scalpel that it claimed was used to slit Aarushi’s throat.
As of Rajesh Talwar’s golf club – that had supposedly been ‘cleaned’ – was not the one that the prosecution presented in court as the weapon.
The probe agency said that the injury on Aarushi’s forehead matched the golf club. It said that Rajesh Talwar had deliberately hid the club and later ‘cleaned’ it before handing it to CBI.
However, opposing the claim, the defence said that a hammer and a ‘khukri’ (a Nepali weapon) were used for the killings.
The post-mortem report had also opined that the allegedly took place due to a golf club could also be done with a Nepali knife or 'khukhri '. The Talwars brought this up and alleged that the CBI had tampered with the golf clubs.
Missing cellphones of Hemraj and Aarushi
According to Nupur’s statement, while maid Bharti went down to catch the keys of the outermost grille, she called on Hemraj’s mobile to know where was he. However, the call was picked up and disconnected in two seconds. The identity of the person who answered the call still remains a mystery.
On the other hand, the police found Aarushi’s cellphone from Khurja in Bulandshahr in September 2009, sixteen months after the murder. Who all used Aarushi’s phone in this period it was missing is still not known.
Was the crime scene interfered with?
Blood stains were splattered on the walls of Aarushi’s room, but the toys on her bed that was close to the wall were left spotless.
Also, her school bag and other belongings were left untouched. This pointed to the fact that the crime scene had been interfered with.
A wet patch on Aarushi’s bed indicated the sheet was cleaned with water. However, if the Talwars ‘dressed up’ the scene, why did they leave the bloodied whisky bottle, palm and shoe prints around?
Also, this raises suspicion over the fact that why would an outsider (referring to the three servants) care to dress-up the crime scene after the murder.
Contradictory autopsy reports
Dr Sunil Dohre, who conducted Aarushi’s post-mortem on May 16, 2008, told the court in July 2012 about a “prominent opening” of her private parts. He said that the vaginal opening was unusually wide and that the cervix was visible.
The whitish discharge on her private parts suggested that the private parts had been washed. Similarly, there was a wet patch on the bedsheet.
There was, however, no mention of the same in the post-mortem report prepared by the doctor who wrote “NAD (no abnormality detected)” in the section on the teenager’s private parts. He did mention the presence of a whitish discharge.
Likewise, Dr Naresh Raj, who conducted Hemraj’s post-mortem, talked about the victim’s swollen private part. He later said these were his “subjective findings”.
The air conditioner and the sound test
An obvious question that arises here is how could the Talwars, who were sleeping in the next room, miss all the commotion?
The first team led by Arun Kumar conducted a sound test in the Talwar’s bedroom as they couldn’t imagine that the two had not heard the hubbub. The sound test proved that nothing could be heard due to a malfunctioning air-conditioner and yet the CBI ignored it.