After five-and-a-half years of twists and turns, the Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj double murder case will reach a conclusion when a Ghaziabad court delivers the verdict on Monday. Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal is expected to announce the verdict before the lunch break, in a case where Aarushi’s parents — Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — are standing trial on charges of murder and destruction of evidence.
Sources close to the Talwar family said while the couple were “extremely nervous”, they have stayed “calm and believe that they will not be held guilty”. “All scenarios have been prepared for, with lawyers prepared for an adverse judgment, and an immediate appeal to the High Court if there is a conviction,” sources said.
Senior police officers said security arrangements had been made for Monday. “We will deploy extra personnel around the court premises,” a senior police officer said. After a knife attack on Rajesh Talwar on January 25, the Talwars have been given security cover. Officers said the measures for Monday were taken keeping that incident in mind. If the couple are convicted, police will take them to Dasna jail from the court premises itself, officers said.
It was at 6 am on May 16, 2008, when the Talwars’ domestic help reached their L-32, Jalvayu Vihar flat in Noida, that the body of 14-year-old Aarushi was found in her bedroom. Both police and Talwars first blamed the missing domestic help, Hemraj, for the murder. But Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace the next day, with injuries very similar to those found on Aarushi’s body.
Noida police faced flak for several lapses in investigation and a week after the murder, Rajesh Talwar was arrested. At the time, senior police officers said Aarushi and Hemraj were found in a “compromising” position and Rajesh had attacked them with a golf club.
The investigation was then handed over to the CBI, and Rajesh Talwar let off for lack of solid evidence. Three friends of Hemraj — Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal — were arrested. CBI had said it found a khukri at the residence of Krishna, who was a compounder at Rajesh Talwar’s clinic. In three months, the three were let off for want of evidence.
September 2009 brought a change of CBI team, and with it renewed suspicion on Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. In a closure report filed by CBI