'Clinching wealth of circumstances' in Aarushi case: Court

AarushiAfter five-and-a-half years of twists and turns, the Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj double murder case has reached a conclusion. (AP)

The conviction of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the murder of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic servant Hemraj is based on "clinching wealth of circumstances" placed by CBI which had earlier sought closure, citing lack of sufficient evidence.

Judge Shyam Lal devoted nearly 20 pages of his exhaustive 208-page judgement explaining the importance and role of circumstantial evidence while quoting philosophers, Supreme Court rulings, Criminal Law Journal and several eminent jurists from across the world.

He also went on explain "benefit of doubt" and circumstances in which they can be exercised for the accused and listed "panch sheel"--the five golden principles--in a case based on circumstantial evidence.

"...Where a case rests on circumstantial evidence, five golden principles of standard of proof required are decocted:-

The circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established. The circumstances must be or should and not may be established.

The facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explained on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty

The circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and tendency. They should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved.

There must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probability the act must have been done by the accused," the judge said.

CBI, which had taken over the case from UP police, had filed its closure report on December 29, 2010 citing lack of sufficient evidence to file a charge sheet. This report was rejected by Judicial Magistrate Priti Singh who said there was enough circumstantial evidence to prosecute Nupur and Rajesh Talwar.

... contd.

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