Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has lacerated the trial court judge in the Aarushi murder case, saying he acted like a film director to create a fictional scenario, used fallacious analogy and ignored the basic tenets of law.
High court justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra listed a litany of errors, missteps and fanciful deductions by the trial judge while convicting dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar for the double murders of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in May 2008.
“The trial Judge is supposed to be fair and transparent and should act as a man of ordinary prudence and he should not stretch his imagination to infinity rendering the whole exercise mockery of law,” the court said.
Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal in Ghaziabad (UP) had sentenced the Talwars to life imprisonment on November 28, 2013 after finding them guilty on circumstantial evidence.
Lal has “prejudged things in his own fashion, drawn conclusion by embarking on erroneous analogy, conjecturing to the brim on apparent facts telling a different story propelled by vitriolic reasoning,” the judges said in their order on Thursday to acquit the Talwars.
The court said the circumstantial evidence against the couple was insufficient to hold them guilty, and that they should be given the benefit of doubt. A copy of the written judgement was uploaded on the court website on Friday.
Writing his own 10-page views in the 273-page judgement, Justice Mishra said that “like a film director, the trial Judge has tried to thrust coherence among facts inalienably scattered here and there but (has) not giving any coherence to the idea as to what in fact happened”.
He added that “by dint of fallacious analogy and reasoning” Lal surprisingly assumed “fictional animation” of what actually happened inside and outside the Talwars’ Noida residence on May 14-15, 2008, to provide “live and colourful description of the incident”.
Aarushi, who would have turned 14 on May 23, 2008, was found dead in her room in the Talwar residence on May 15 morning by her parents. Her throat had been slit.
After a botched investigation by the Uttar Pradesh Police, the CBI took over the case and arrested the parents on circumstantial evidence, which was used to convict them.
Justice Mishra said the trial judge convicted them without considering that in circumstantial evidence cases “things cannot be presumed and stuffed in a manner like the present one by adhering to self-created postulates then to roam inside the circle with all fanciful whim”.
He said that the trial court could not act like a maths teacher who was solving a mathematical question by analogy after taking certain figures for granted.
“In all criminal trials, analogies must be drawn and confined within the domain and realm of the evidence,” he said. “It is admitted position to both the sides that no one in fact knew as to what happened.”
To base the entire reasoning solely on “guess work” and give concrete shape to such assumption appears to be a “futile attempt,” he said.
Justice Mishra said it was apparent that the trial judge was “unmindful” of the basic tenets of law and its applicability, and had “failed” to properly appraise facts and evaluate evidence.
“Perhaps out of extra zeal and enthusiasm and on the basis of self perception,” the trial judge adopted partial and parochial approach in giving vent “to his own emotional belief and conviction and thus tried to give concrete shape to his own imagination stripped of just evaluation of evidence and facts of this case,” he said.
He observed that the entire judgement was, on the whole, a creation of “fanciful reasoning with pick and choose presuming (of) facts. thus, basing conclusion on unfounded evidence”.
The first suspect in the murder was the Talwars’ domestic help, 45-year-old Hemraj, who at the time was missing. But his body was recovered from the terrace of the house a day later.