By Akshit Lunial
The twin murder suit of Arushi and Hemraj still remains unresolved. The incident occurred in May 2008. This case has received a great deal of attention in all parts of society. Even the CBI tried to resolve the case, but the evidence appeared to not sum certain.
One morning the couple saw their daughter (arushi) in a blood pool with a slit in her throat. Her bedroom was held as the situs. The very next day they found the body of their live in house helper Hemraj. He was thought to be the prime suspect but he was also found dead at their terrace with injuries all over the body. The inquiry about the case revolved around blood relatives of Arushi. The case has been in courts since then as no conclusive evidence has been found and the case has been left open ended.
DOUBLE MURDER CASE, NOIDA(2008)
In 2008, House no. L-32 Sector-25 of Noida saw a horrifying twin murder case popularly known as ‘2008 Noida double murder case’. On 16th may morning the 14 year old Arushi Talwar was found dead in her bedroom with her throat slit. When the parents found out about the murder they called their neighbours and police, many people invaded the crime scene and around twenty five fingerprints were found out around Arushi’s body. The prime suspect of the murder was the family’s live in male domestic servant Hemraj Banjade. Arushi’s father Rajesh Talwar was firm on the fact that Hemraj murdered his daughter; he also gave silent bribe to the police. The transaction amounted 25000 rupees and the purpose was to visit Hemraj’s native place in Nepal. But the very next day irony paved it’s way, as Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace with head injuries and a slit.
Noida police handled this matter initially, but soon Delhi police also joined in. The case became a matter of discussion in every household of, and it was believed that both parents, Mr. Rajesh Talwar and Mrs. Nupur Talwar, were involved in the murder of their daughter and servant.
There were multiple theories which were relating to the incident. Mr. Rajesh was alleged to murder after finding Arushi and Hemraj in an inappropriate position, in a theory. However, no evidence proved this theory. Another theory was Rajesh was in an extra-marital affair and Hemraj got to know about this and also told this to Arushi but the family and friends did not agree to this theory. On May 23, Rajesh Talwar was arrested because of the public pressure but due to lack of evidence he was released a week later. In 2010 the case was handed over to CBI for trial de novo. A lie detector was tested on Rajesh Talwar which turned out to be inconclusive and then the mother was tested on lie detector. The parents did se defendendo. In December 2010, CBI closed the case by stating that there is not sufficient evidence to held someone liable. Prime suspect was thought to be Rajesh Talwar.
But the court was not in a favour of closing the case as the murderer was still to be convicted. On 25th November 2013, CBI Judge Shyam Lal convicted both the parents to be the murderers of Aarushi and Hemraj and guilty of destroying the evidence as well. The Judge awarded life imprisonment to the couple.
The charges framed against the couple were not directly of murder and culpable homicide from the Indian Penal Code but they were substituted by sections laid down in the Evidence Act. These sections mean that there is just an assumption that the parents have committed the target offense.
Since the parents were the only people present in the house at the time of the murder it was presumed against then that whatever happened inside the house have been in their knowledge. Any signs of forced entry in the house by a third party were also not available, so the Talwars had the burden of proof over them.
ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT (12TH October,2017)
The Talwar’s plead to the Allahabad Court to suppress the decision of the previous court. After four years of being in the jail, the Allahabad HC acquitted them. This is still an open-ended case and sub judice.
Reason for acquitting the parents given by Allahabad HC in the summation:
- “ One central principle of law: The burden of proof cannot be on accused”
- The case was based on circumstantial evidence and without clear cut motive so one shred of doubt is capable of getting an acquittal in law.
Arushi Talwar murder case has remained a mystery for the country. The case is still in the court and does not even look like there are concrete evidences about the murderer. Mr. and Mrs. Talwar were set free after the decision of court. All the charges levied on them are acquitted at this level. One of the reasons for tampering of evidence could be that the crime scene was not kept private in the initial stage of the investigation. The whole house was not searched by the agency as the body of the servant was found next day. Other reasons could be that the initial inspection was not up to the mark, which led in delay of the verdict for so many years. The case is still sub judice and there are still hopes that Arushi and Hemraj will get justice and the culprit shall be put behind the bars.