CBI sought death, Talwars get life

FrontRajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar being taken to court on Tuesday. PRAVEEN KHANNA

A day after they were held guilty of killing their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in May 2008, dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life by a CBI court in Ghaziabad on Tuesday.

Besides the life term and a fine of Rs 10,000 each for murder, the Talwar couple were also given rigorous imprisonment for five years and a fine of Rs 5,000 each for destruction of evidence, while Rajesh Talwar got another one-year simple imprisonment and an additional fine of Rs 2,000 for filing a misleading FIR. All the sentences will run concurrently.

In his order, which quotes Thomas Reed Powell and Justice John Clarke, Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal, while rejecting the CBI's plea for "maximum punishment", said, "Keeping in view the entire facts and circumstances, I am of the view that both the accused are not a menace to the orderly society and this is not a fit case for inflicting death penalty".

Stating that the "motive has been established", the court, in its 204-page order, listed 26 points that led to its "irresistible and impeccable conclusion" about their "guilt". It said there was "nothing to show" that an outsider had entered the house on the night of the incident. It also pointed out that the internet remained active during the night, suggesting that at least one of the accused remained awake. Another point mentioned is that the injuries on the head and neck of both victims are similar and "can be caused by a golf stick and surgical scalpel."

During the trial, the CBI had maintained that Rajesh Talwar saw Hemraj and Aarushi in a compromising position and attacked them in a fit of rage.

During arguments that lasted for just 20 minutes, the CBI sought "the maximum punishment" possible. "We asked for the gravest punishment as the accused killed two people, one of whom is their own daughter. There was more than one injury mark on both victims, and one of them was dragged to the terrace. Evidence was also destroyed which makes this the gravest of crimes," said R K Saini, prosecutor for the CBI.

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