13102017-TTC-01.qxd 10/13/2017 1:13 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, october 13, 2017 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 178 | 18 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Talwars did not kill Aarushi: HC Himachal elections on CBI court verdict against teen’s parents quashed, given benefit of doubt Tribune News Service Mystery of one of most mysterious whodunits continues Lucknow, October 12 Reversing a CBI court judgment, the Allahabad High Court today acquitted dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar of the charge of murdering their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, 45, in May 2008. They are expected to be freed from Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail tomorrow after the completion of paperwork. The 263-page verdict ends, at least for now, the nineyear ordeal of the Noida couple, who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court in November 2013 for the double murder that not only transfixed but also shook the nation with its element of filicide. But the central question remains — who killed Aarushi and Hemraj? The Division Bench of Justices BK Narayana and AK Mishra read out the operative part of the judgment in a jampacked courtroom and acquitted the couple, saying neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty. Ending the Talwars’ nineyear ordeal, the court said the Central Bureau of Investigation had based its case purely on circumstantial evidence that did not quite add up. Finding no direct evidence, the court gave the benefit of doubt to the couple and ■ ■ MAY 16, 2008: Aarushi Talwar found dead in her bedroom; domestic help Hemraj suspected as the killer MAY 17: Hemraj’s body found on the terrace of Talwars’ residential building ■ MAY 19: Talwars’ former domestic help Vishnu Sharma named suspect ■ MAY 23: Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar arrested as a key accused ■ JUNE 1: CBI takes over the A file photo of Aarushi’s parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. court summons probe in the case ■ ■ JUNE 13: Talwars’ domestic dismisses the plea help Krishna arrested by CBI ■ ■ JUNE 26: CBI declares it a JULY 12: Rajesh Talwar report and asks it to continue with prosecution charging Aarushi’s parents with murder and destruction of evidence granted bail ■ DECEMBER 29: CBI submits closure report, gives clean chit to servants, but points finger at parents ■ FEBRUARY 9, 2011: Court takes cognisance of CBI quashed the CBI court’s sentence of life imprisonment. On November 25, 2013, the CBI trial court had held them guilty of the double murder. Since then, the Talwars have been imprisoned in Dasna jail, Ghaziabad. They challenged the CBI ■ FEBRUARY 21: Talwars approach Allahabad HC for quashing trial verdict in the Allahabad High Court in January 2014. Their repeated pleas for bail were turned down. After daily hearings, the High Court concluded the arguments and reserved its judgment on September 7 this year. According to the counsel NOVEMBER 2013: Rajesh and Nupur Talwar convicted of the double murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad “blind case”; Rajesh Talwar denied bail by a special Ghaziabad magistrate ■ MARCH 18: Allahabad HC ■ SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: Allahabad HC Bench reserves judgment on parents’ plea and fixes October 12 as the date of verdict ■ OCTOBER 12: Allahabad HC acquits Aarushi’s parents. PTI for the Talwars, the court said there was a “strong alternative theory” in the case. He said the court refuted the CBI theory that there was no third person in the house when the murders took place. CBI counsels said they would first study the entire judgment Firecrackers: HC Jawan, civilian die puts Punjab, UT, as Pak opens fire Haryana on notice in Krishna Ghati Nine rapes took place in Murthal: Amicus curiae Chandigarh, October 12 Taking up the issue of pollution caused by firecrackers, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the home secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and the Chandigarh administration, giving them a day’s time to respond. As the suo motu or “court on its own motion” case came up for hearing, the Division Bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Amit Rawal asked both the states, as well as the UT administration, to supply the information on issuance of licences for “explosives”, whether temporary or permanent. Senior advocate Anupam Gupta was also appointed as amicus curiae or the “friend of the court” to assist the Bench in the matter. The order came a day after Justice Rawal took suo motu cognisance of pollution caused by fireworks during the Diwali season, while expressing serious concern over the increasing level of pollution in the region and its effects. Justice Rawal observed that the air quality deteriorated abysmally and alarmingly and the city was choked thereafter. Even after 10 pm, a person was unable to move out of the house, he pointed out. — TNS Saurabh Malik ARVIND KEJRIWAL’S CAR GOES MISSING New Delhi: A Wagon R car, used by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal till the 2015 Assembly polls, was stolen from outside the Delhi Secretariat on Thursday, the police said. The humble blue hatchback, which became synonymous with Kejriwal’s ‘aam aadmi’ image, was being used by an AAP functionary these days. PTI Jammu/Rajouri, October 12 A soldier and a civilian porter were killed today as the Pakistani army opened fire on Indian positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Krishna Ghati sector. Sources said five soldiers were also injured in the ceasefire violation. The Defence PRO said the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked firing with small arms and automatics from 10.35 am and the Indian Army retaliated strongly. The firing stopped in the afternoon. The slain soldier has been identified as 21-year-old Sepoy TK Reddy from Obulapuram village of Andhra Pradesh. He is survived by his mother Gurrumma. The porter has been identified as 22year-old Mohammed Zahir, a resident of Kalali village in Rajouri district of J&K. A source said: “All the soldiers and the porter were injured or killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast that was planted to stop the illegal entry of anti-national elements into the Indian territory. Some bullets might have hit the IED, triggering the blast.” This month alone, the Pakistani army has violated the ceasefire agreement more than 10 times. — TNS Tribune News Service Chandigarh, October 12 More than a year after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu cognisance of reports carried in these columns on alleged sexual assault on women in the fields of Murthal by 30-odd goons, the amicus curiae today told the court that nine rapes had taken place. As the case came up for resumed hearing, amicus curiae (friend of the court) Anupam Gupta told the court that Haryana’s former DGP had himself admitted the factum of rapes. Appearing before the Division Bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Amit Rawal, Gupta said information to this effect was given to him by senior IAS officer Vijay Vardhan. Gupta said he was still in the High Court when he received a call from another IAS officer, Ashok Khemka, that Vardhan wanted to talk to him. At that time, Vardhan was away looking after his ailing father. The amicus curiae said Vardhan soon after called up to say that then DGP KP Singh told him about nine rapes in Murthal. continued on page 12 Sword-wielding groups clash at Golden Temple, several hurt GS Paul Tribune News Service Amritsar, October 12 Panic gripped devotees at the Golden Temple today when rival Sikh groups brandishing swords clashed at the entrance of the shrine complex, leaving several injured. The clash occurred between the SGPC task force members and radical Sikhs as the latter tried to head towards the Akal Takht. The verbal duel turned ugly and soon it was free-for-all in the presence of police personnel. The SGPC task force pushed president of the managing committee of Chhota Ghallughara Gurdwara, Rival group members engaged in a clash at the entrance plaza of Golden Temple complex on Thursday. VISHAL KUMAR Qadian, Master Johar Singh out of the complex. He was there to appear before “paral- lel” Jathedars of the Takht to clarify his stance on the continued on page 12 and then decide if the verdict was to be challenged in the Supreme Court or not. Dasna prison jailer Dadhiram Maurya said the Talwars felt they had got justice and were praying. “After having breakfast, they had been praying. Their schedule was normal. She (Nupur Talwar) said they got justice today and had tears of joy.” Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars’ Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008. The suspicion initially fell on 45-year-old Hemraj, who was missing at that time. But his body was recovered from the terrace of the house a day later. As the Uttar Pradesh Police drew flak over shoddy investigation into the case, the then Chief Minister Mayawati recommended a probe by the CBI. Group Captain BG Chitnis (retd), Nupur Talwar’s father, said, “I am grateful to the judiciary for the verdict. They have really suffered. They are emotionally drained. At my age, it was very trying to see my daughter behind bars.” Vandana Talwar, Aarushi’s aunt, said, “It’s been an exhausting journey for us.” Lawyer Rebecca John, who was part of the Talwars’ legal team, claimed the whole case was based on “innuendos”. (With PTI inputs) More reports on page 7 Nov 9, result on Dec18 EC defers Gujarat poll schedule announcement Mukesh Ranjan Tribune News Service New Delhi, October 12 The Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will be conducted in a single phase on November 9 while the counting of votes will take place on December 18, the Election Commission announced today. The commission, however, chose to defer the announcement of the poll schedule for Gujarat although the tenure of the state Assembly ends on January 22, just two weeks after that of Himachal. Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti, though, indicated that Gujarat would go to the polls before December 18. “This is being done to ensure the voting pattern of one state does not affect the other,” he said. Asked why elections in Gujarat were not announced simultaneously, Joti said, “We have received communication from the state government about ongoing relief and rehabilitation operations following the floods. The administration has sought time before being fully prepared for the elections.” Joti said elections to the two states were announced separately in the past too. “The model code of conduct comes into force imme- Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti announces the schedule for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections in New Delhi. PTI SCHEDULE FOR HP ASSEMBLY POLLS TOTAL CONSTITUENCIES: 68 Nomination filing begins October 16 Last date for nominations October 23 Scrutiny of nominations October 24 Last date for withdrawal October 26 diately,” said Joti, who was flanked by Election Commissioners OP Rawat and Sunil Arora. As per rules, the code will be applicable for the state government as well as the Centre in matters related to Himachal. The poll notification will be issued on October 16. For the first time ever, the Election Commission will set up 136 all-woman managed polling booths in Himachal, with each constituency having two of them. Also, Himachal will be the second state after Goa where voting will take place with 100 per cent VVPAT (voter verified paper trail) coverage. The paper trail machines will be deployed along with EVMs at all 7,521 polling stations, including 42 auxiliary polling stations at remote places. The Chief Election Commissioner said VVPAT machines from one polling booth in each of the 68 Assembly segments will be tallied with EVM results to check the vote count. see also Page 10
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