- Talwars, convicted of daughter Arushi's murder in 2008, acquitted today
- The Talwars were sentenced to life in prison in 2013
- "No irresistible conclusion" against the Talwars, the judges said
The Talwars were in jail in Dasna in Uttar Pradesh when they were acquitted. A jail official said that they had been anxious this morning and were happy to hear of the verdict. "They said they got justice," he told NDTV. Talwars' family expects them to walk out of jail on Friday evening.
Aarushi Talwar was found with her throat slit in her bed, just days before she turned 14. Their live-in help Hemraj was discovered dead the next day on the terrace of the apartment building in Noida.
The case was mishandled by the Noida police and after lapses that included reporters to trample all over the scene of the crime, it was transferred to the CBI.
The Talwars were arrested in 2013; in 2015, a court found them guilty and sentenced them to life in prison. The CBI wanted the death penalty.
That conviction came after the CBI said it wanted to close the case as an unsolved mystery; the agency said it believed Rajesh Talwar was guilty, but did not have the evidence to prove it. That statement was seen by many legal experts as irresponsible. But the CBI was told to continue its probe.
AP Singh, who then headed the CBI, told NDTV on Thursday, "There were loopholes in our investigation, that's why we had closed the case saying it was inconclusive." He said today's verdict "does not say that the Talwars didn't do it" but that there's not enough evidence against them.
The court that convicted the couple accepted circumstantial evidence offered by the CBI. Investigators said the double murder was an inside job because the apartment had not been broken into and that the "last seen" principle indicts the Talwars because the victims were in their presence before they were killed.
The police had alleged that the Talwars were furious after finding their daughter in a compromising position with Hemraj, but offered no evidence to substantiate this premise.
The Talwars have described their portrayal in the media as a witch-hunt and have repeatedly offered to assist the investigation.