NEW DELHI (TIP): Keeping in mind the social order, the special CBI court on November 26 sentenced Rajesh and Nupur Talwar to life imprisonment for killing their 14-yearold daughter Aarushi and their servant Hemraj. In his 210-page-verdict, special judge Shayam Lal said, “Imposition of sentence without considering its effect on the social order will be a futile exercise. If adequate sentence is not awarded court will be failing in its duty.” “Protection of society and stamping out criminal proclivity must be the object of law which must be achieved by imposing appropriate sentence. Therefore, laws as a corner stone of the edifice of ‘order’ should meet the challenges confronting the society.” “Keeping in view the entire facts and circumstances, I am of the view that both the accused are not menace to the orderly society.

This is not a fit case for inflicting death penalty under section 302 (murder) read with section 34 IPC (common intention to commit the crime) and, therefore, it appears just and proper to sentence the accused to rigorous imprisonment for life,” the judge said. Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008. “It is a matter of common knowledge that many a murders have been committed without any known or prominent motive. Mere fact that prosecution has failed to translate that mental disposition of the accused into evidence does not mean that no such mental condition existed in the mind of the assailant.” “A criminal court could be convinced of the guilt only beyond the range of a reasonable doubt. Of course, the expression ‘reasonable doubt’ is incapable of definition. Modern thinking is in favour of the view that proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the same as proof which affords moral certainty to the judge.”

CBI prosecutor RK Saini said he was satisfied with the order on sentencing. “It is only in exceptional cases that the court awards the death penalty,” Saini said. Tanveer Ahmed Mir, defence counsel for the Talwars while opposing the CBI’s plea had argued that the crime did not fall under the rarest of rare cases. “The court’s order on life sentence is based on its affirmative finding that murders were committed as a result of ‘sudden and grave provocation’ and therefore does not fall in the rarest of rare cases,” Mir said. Talwars have been sentenced for life imprisonment and a fine of Rs10,000 each for murder, five years and a fine of Rs5,000 each for destruction of evidence and one year and Rs2,000 to Rajesh for misleading the investigation by filing wrong FIR. “It is serious miscarriage of justice. Definitely it will be examined. We will be appealing in Allahabad High Court.

The verdict is unsustainable in the court. There has been a witch-hunt,” Talwars’ counsel Rebecca John said. “It is the most shocking abuse of power (by the CBI). The kind of witch-hunt (they have done), I have never seen it. It is shocking and a sad day for India…. The court in its detailed judgment relied on key 26 points and held that the case in hand is not based on percipient evidence and rather hinges on circumstantial evidence. Raising doubt over the behavior of the dentist couple after seeing the body of their daughter, the court said, “From the evidence it is also established that both the accused changed their vestures. It is against the order of human nature that on seeing their dearest daughter lying in a pool of blood the accused being the natural father and mother will not hug her. In the process of hugging, their clothes will be deeply stained with the blood but not found so.”