A day after convicting dentist couple Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar for killing their daughter Aarushi and servant Hemraj, a special CBI court will on Tuesday pronounce the quantum of sentence in the case.
The CBI has sought the maximum punishment for the couple, calling the case 'rarest of rare'. The quality Rolex Submariner Réplique for men.
"There have been two murders and hence the case should be treated as rarest of rare," CBI counsel told reporters outside the court.
The dentist duo face a maximum punishment of death and minimum of life imprisonment for the offence.
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The Talwars are in the court for the sentencing.
On Monday, five-and-a-half years after 14-year-old Aarushi and her family's domestic help, Hemraj, were found dead in their Noida apartment, a special CBI court in Ghaziabad held Aarushi's parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, guilty of the double murder that had gripped the nation as one of the most puzzling crimes ever.
Special CBI judge Shyam Lal convicted the couple of murder (section 302), destruction of evidence (201) and common intention to commit the crime (34).
In a case widely speculated as one of honour killing, 49-year-old Rajesh was also convicted separately for "furnishing false information to the police regarding the murder of his daughter by Hemraj" (section 203).
"Now is the time to say omega in this case ... it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused are the perpetrators of the crime," the court said in its judgment, which relied heavily on circumstantial evidence provided by the CBI.
The verdict comes after a 15-month-long trial, which saw many twists and turns.
Aarushi and Hemraj were murdered on the intervening night of May 15 and 16, 2008, days before the birthday of the class IX student.
Rajesh and Nupur, 48, were said to be angry over their daughter's liaison with 45-year-old Hemraj, who hailed from Nepal, which triggered the crime.
In his 204-page order, the judge leaned heavily on holy books and edicts to disapprove of the parents' actions. "They have extirpated their own daughter who had hardly seen 14 summers of her life and the servant... in the breach of the commandment 'thou shall not kill' and injunction of Holy Quran 'take not life which God has made sacred'," he observed
"The parents are the best protectors of their own children. That is the order of human nature but they have been freaks in the history of mankind where the father and mother became the killer of their own progeny," the judge said.
The court noted that the parents did not just stop at killing their daughter but also participated in destroying evidence. "They are also found guilty of secreting and obliterating the evidence of the commission of the murders to screen themselves from punishment," the court said.
"Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha (If we protect dharma, dharma will protect us). If we protect the law, the law will protect us. Both the accused have flouted the penal law of the land and therefore are liable to be convicted for murder, destruction of evidence and having common intention to commit the crime," the judge added.
The hearing, which lasted for barely two minutes, was high on drama with mediapersons restrained from entering the courtroom and the Uttar Pradesh police placing the court complex under strong security cover. Three DSPs, three station house officers, 90 constables and a platoon of PAC were deployed in and around the court.
The judgment was scheduled to be pronounced in the morning but the judge, who is to lay down office this month end, arrived in the high-security courtroom at 3.25pm and summoned both the accused.
Court sources said the judge read out the operative portion from his order and said that both parents had been convicted for murder and other crimes.
As soon as the judge pronounced the verdict, the Talwars broke down, sources said. They were taken into custody and sent to Dasna jail by the court.
Interestingly, within minutes of the verdict being pronounced, an official statement in the name of dentist couple was circulated expressing their "disappointment" over the verdict.
Reacting to the conviction, defence lawyer Satyaketu Singh said the judgment was wrong in law and would be appealed against in the high court.
The latest trial in the case got over on November 12 after almost 19 months during which CBI used testimony of close to 90 witnesses in order to prove that it was only the parents who could have committed the murders and there was no possibility of an outsider entering the house.
During cross-examination and their final arguments, the counsel for Talwars - Satyaketu Singh and Tanveer Ahmed Mir - slammed every aspect of CBI's investigations. They alleged that its important witnesses like Dr Sunil Dohre, Naresh Raj and M S Dahiya had improved their statements while many witnesses like maid Bharti and CDFD (Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics) experts had been tutored by the agency. Talwars' lawyers alleged that CBI had tampered with, fabricated and changed the evidence to frame the parents and that its case against them was full of "alternate hypothesis" and had no merit.
The case had been first investigated by the Noida police and Dr Rajesh Talwar had been arrested. Then IG Gurdarshan Singh had addressed a press conference where he announced the honour killing theory leading to severe criticism and his eventual transfer. The police were blamed for not properly pre-serving the crime scene and going easy on the probe. The then chief minister, Mayawati, transferred the probe to CBI.
The first twist came when CBI, led by then joint director, Arun Kumar, arrested three servants - Krishna Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal - and called a press conference to claim that they were the killers and that there was "scientific evidence" against them. Dr Talwar was given a clean chit. The agency had at that time conducted several tests, including lie-detection, psychoanalysis and narco analysis, on the servants. However, Kumar's team later did not file a chargesheet, saying "they did not have enough evidence against the servants" and they were released on bail.
In September 2009, after reports of Aarushi's vaginal swabs being changed and pathology reports going missing emerged, the then CBI director, Ashwini Kumar, changed the investigation team. The new team was headed by joint director Javed Ahmad (in Lucknow) and SSP Neelabh Kishore. Additional SP AGL Kaul, investigating officer of the case, re-investigated the matter by re-examining the scene of crime, going through the case dairies, checking hospital records and conducting narco tests on Talwars in February 2010. The trail led them back to Dr Talwar.
Though Kaul wanted to file a chargesheet against the parents, his seniors suggested a closure report. This report was filed on December 29, 2010, with evidence against Dr Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, along with statements of 84 witnesses, documents and forensic reports.
In a dramatic turn, however, the special CBI judge rejected the closure re-port and summoned both parents as accused for murder and destruction of evidence on the basis of statements and circumstantial evidence cited by CBI. After then for over a year, the Talwars filed many applications in lower courts, Allahabad high court and Supreme Court, seeking relief against the charges and rebutting the charges. However, Supreme Court asked them to join the trial as soon as possible.
The CBI, meanwhile, filed many applications in court seeking to send Nupur Talwar to judicial custody since she had been summoned as an accused. She was sent to Dasna Jail on April 30, 2012, until Supreme Court gave her bail on September 17 that year.
During the past 19 months of trial, the dentist couple has maintained that they have not killed their daughter and servant and that the CBI's conclusions were based on "presumptions, conjectures and surmises" and "not substantiated or supported by true and actual facts". The Talwars have claimed that the CBI's charges against them show "deliberate lapses" in investigations besides "noticeable non-mentioning of material pieces of evidence". They have called the probe as "tainted and tailored".
May 16, 2008: Aarushi Talwar, the daughter of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, found dead with her throat slit in the bedroom of her Noida home. Nepalese domestic help Hemraj suspected of murder.
May 17: Body of Hemraj found on the terrace of the Talwar house.
May 18: Police say murders were conducted with surgical precision, insider job suspected.
May 23: Aarushi's father Rajesh Talwar arrested for double murder.
May 31: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) takes over case.
June 13: Krishna, Rajesh Talwar's compounder, arrested by the CBI. Ten days later, Raj Kumar, the servant of a doctor friend of the Talwars, and Vijay Mandal, the domestic help of Talwars' neighbour, were also nabbed.
July 12: Rajesh given bail by a Ghaziabad court after CBI fails to present evidence against him.
Jan 5, 2010: CBI moves court to conduct narco test on Talwar couple.
Dec 29: The CBI files closure report, stating Rajesh is the main suspect, but there is not enough evidence against him.
Jan 25, 2011: Rajesh Talwar attacked in Ghaziabad court premises.
Feb 9: A special Ghaziabad court rejects CBI's closure report and orders that Rajesh and Nupur Talwar be tried for Aarushi's murder. The couple also face allegations of destruction of evidence. A CBI special court in Ghaziabad issues bailable warrants against the couple for not being present in court.
March 14, 2012: CBI argues in court for cancellation of Rajesh Talwar's bail.
April 30: Nupur Talwar arrested.
May 3: Sessions court rejects Nupur Talwar's bail plea.
May 25: Rajesh and Nupur Talwar charged by Ghaziabad court with murder, destruction of evidence and conspiracy.
September 25: Nupur Talwar released on bail on the Supreme Court's order.
April 2013: CBI officer tells court that Aarushi and Hemraj were killed by the Talwars. CBI also tells court that Aarushi and Hemraj were found in an objectionable, compromising position.
May 3: Defence counsel pleads before a special court to summon 14 people, including former CBI joint director Arun Kumar as witness. CBI opposes the plea.
May 6: Trial court dismisses Talwar's petition for summoning 14 witnesses. It orders recording of statements of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.
October 18: CBI closes arguments, says Talwars "misled" investigators.
November 12: Court reserves verdict in the case for November 25.
November 25: Court delivers verdict in double-murder case.