Additional Sessions Judge S. Lal convicted the Talwar couple for the murder of their daughter Arushi and their domestic help Hemraj based on the circumstantial evidence in the case. There were no eye witnesses to the incident.
The Judge relied on a number of Supreme Court Judgments in which the principles relating to the appreciation of circumstantial evidence, including the Constitution Bench Judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Govinda Reddy Vs. State of Mysore AIR 1960 SC 29, and Hanumant Govind Nargunkar Vs. State of M.P. AIR 1952 SC 343. The judge heavily relied on the following principles which are known the ‘Panch Sheel’ of the proof of a case based on circumstantial evidence.
(1) the circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established;
(2) 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 explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty;
(3) the circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and tendency;
(4) they should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved; and
(5) 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 following circumstances, according to the Judge unerringly pointing out to the guilt of the accused and exclude every possible hypothesis on the innocence of the accused:
1. That irrefragably on the fateful night of May 15 and 16, 2008 both the accused were last seen with both the deceased in Flat No. L-32, Jalvayu Vihar at about 9.30 P.M. by Umesh Sharma, the driver of Rajesh Talwar;
2. That on the morning of May 16, 2008 at about 6.00 A.M. Aarushi was found murdered in her bed-room which was adjacent to the bedroom of the accused and there was only partition wall between two bed-rooms;
3. That the dead body of the servant Hemraj was found lying in the pool of blood on the terrace of flat no. L-32, Jalvayu Vihar on May 17, 2008 and the door of terrace was found locked from inside;
4. That there is a close proximity between the point of time when both the accused and the deceased persons were last seen together alive and the deceased were murdered in the intervening night of May 15 and 16, 2008 and as such the time is so small that possibility of any other person(s) other than the accused being the authors of the crime becomes impossible;
5. That the door of Aarushi's bed-room was fitted with automatic click-shut lock. Mahesh Kumar Mishra, the then S.P. (City), NOIDA has deposed that when he talked to Rajesh Talwar on May 16, 2008 in the morning, he had told him that in the preceding night at about 11.30 P.M. he had gone to sleep with the key after locking the door of Aarushi's bed-room from outside. Both the accused have admitted that door of Aarushi's bed-room was having automatic-clickshut lock like that of a hotel, which could not be opened from outside without key but could be opened from inside without key. No explanation has been offered by the accused as to how the lock of Aarushi’s room was opened and by whom.
6. That the internet remained active in the night of the gory incident suggesting that at least one of the accused remained awake;
7. That there is nothing to show that an outsider(s) came inside the house in the said night after 9.30 P.M.;
8. That there was no disruption in the supply of electricity in that night;
9. That no person was seen loitering near the flats in suspicious circumstances during that night;
10. That there is no evidence of forcible entry of any outsider(s) in the flat in the night of occurrence;
11. That there is no evidence of any larcenous act in the flat;
12. That in the morning of May 16, 2008 when the maid came to the flat for the purpose of cleaning and mopping, a false pretext was made by Nupur Talwar that door might have been locked from outside by the servant Hemraj although it was not locked or latched from outside;
13. That the house maid Bharti Mandal has nowhere stated that when she came inside the flat both the accused were found weeping;
14. That from the testimony of Bharti Mandal it is manifestly clear that when she reached the flat and talked to Nupur Talwar then at that time she had not complained about the murder of her daughter and rather she told the maid deliberately that Hemraj might have gone to fetch milk from Mother dairy after locking the wooden door from outside. This lack of spontaneity is relevant under section 8 of the Evidence Act;
15. That the clothes of both the accused were not found soaked with blood. It is highly unnatural that parents of deceased Aarushi will not cling to and hug her on seeing her murdered;
16. That no outsider(s) will dare to take Hemraj to the terrace in severely injured condition and thereafter search out a lock to be placed in the door of the terrace;
17. That it is not possible that an outsider(s) after committing the murders will muster courage to take Scotch whisky knowing that the parents of the deceased Aarushi are in the nearby room and his top priority will be to run away from the crime scene immediately.
18. That no outsider(s) will bother to take the body of Hemraj to the terrace. Moreover, a single person cannot take the body to the terrace;
19. That the door of the terrace was never locked prior to the occurrence but it was found locked in the morning of May 16, 2008 and the accused did not give the key of the lock to the police despite being asked to give the same;
20. That the accused have taken plea in the statements under section 313 Cr.P.C. that about 8-10 days before the occurrence painting of cluster had started and the navvies used to take water from water tank placed on the terrace of the flat and then Hemraj had started locking the door of the terrace and the key of that lock remained with him. If it was so then it was not easily possible for an outsider to find out the key of the lock of terrace door;
21. That if an outsider(s) may have committed the crime in question after locking the door of terrace and had gone out of the flat then the outer most mesh door or middle mesh door must have been found latched from outside;
22. That the motive of commission of the crime has been established;
23. That it is not possible that after commission of the crime an outsider(s) will dress-up the crime scene;
24. That golf-club no.5 was thrown in the loft after commission of the crime and the same was produced after many months by the accused Rajesh Talwar;
25. That pattern of head and neck injuries of both the accused persons are almost similar in nature and can be caused by golf-club and scalpel respectively;
26. That the accused Rajesh Talwar was a member of the Golf-Club NOIDA and golfclubs were produced by him before the CBI and scalpel is used by the dentists and both the accused are dentists by profession;
In the concluding paragraph [Page-205] the Judge said
“Now is the time to say omega in this case. To perorate, it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused are the perpetrators of the crime in question. The parents are the best protectors of their own children- that is the order of human nature but there have been freaks in the history of mankind when the father and mother became the killer of their own progeny. They have extirpated their own daughter who had hardly seen 14 summers of her life and the servant without compunction from terrestrial terrain in breach of Commandment 'Thou shall not kill' and injunction of Holy Quran- “Take not life, which God has made sacred”. They are also found guilty of secreting and obliterating the evidence of the commission of the murders to screen themselves from legal punishment”. If we protect “Dharma”, Dharma will protect us. If we protect “Law”, law will protect us. Both the accused have flouted the ferocious penal law of the land and therefore, liable to be convicted under sections 302 r/w 34, 201 r/w 34 I.P.C."
After hearing on the question of sentence, the Court passed the following order:
O R D E R
The accused Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar are convicted under sections 302 read with section 34 and section 201 read with section 34 I.P.C. Dr. Rajesh Talwar is also convicted under section 203 I.P.C. Both the accused are sentenced to rigoures imprisonment for life under section 302 read with section 34 IPC with a fine of Rs.10,000/- each and in default of payment of fine to undergo six months simple imprisonment and to five years rigorous imprisonment under section 201 read with section 34 I.P.C. with a fine of Rs.5,000/-each and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment of three months. Dr. Rajesh Talwar is also sentenced to one year simple imprisonment under section 203 I.P.C. with a fine of Rs.2,000/- and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment of one month. All the sentences shall run concurrently. One copy each of the judgment be provided free of cost to the accused immediately. Both the accused shall be sent to jail under a warrant to serve out the sentence as imposed upon them. Material Exhibits shall be disposed off as per rules, after expiry of the period of limitation for filing the appeal, if no appeal is filed. The accused shall be sent to District Jail under warrant of conviction. The copy of the judgement should be sent to the District Magistrate, Ghaziabad in terms of section365 Cr.P.C.