Aarushi case verdict: Term doesn’t surprise legal fraternity

NEW DELHI: The life term for the Talwar couple came as little surprise to the legal community, which said it was never a case for death penalty.

Talwar’s lawyers, too, heaved a sigh of relief even as they attacked CBI for carrying out a “witch hunt” just to cater to the public opinion.

Soon after the sentencing, senior advocate Rebecca John said the verdict sadly reflected that the collective reaction of a nation and the public opinion trumped justice. “I was actually shocked by the verdict in the first place. Then came CBI’s demand to treat this case as a rarest of the rare case which is nothing but a witch hunt mentality. Don’t forget they first demanded closure in the case and now they demanded death. The investigating agency has acted irresponsibly. It was never a rarest of the rare case.”

According to independent experts, when CBI had filed a cancellation report, the reasonable doubt should have gone to the benefit of the Talwars. “The benefit of doubt could have been granted to the accused who had the right to remain silent, but the criminal law in our country has been modified to suit the prosecution here,” said Shilpi Jain, a senior Supreme Court counsel.

There was no option apart from pronouncing a life sentence against a death penalty when a case of murder under IPC 302 has been registered, said Ramesh Gupta, a senior lawyer.