AN Indian court has sentenced a married dentist couple to life in prison for killing their 14-year-old daughter and their housekeeper in a case that has dominated headlines and polarised the country.
Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, from New Delhi, reportedly broke down in
tears when they were convicted on Monday and vowed to appeal the
Defence lawyer Rebecca John said after Tuesday's
sentencing that the case against the Talwars, based largely on
circumstantial evidence, amounted to a "witch hunt" and said "there has
been a serious miscarriage of justice in this case".
came under suspicion soon after their daughter, Aarushi, was found dead
in her bedroom in May 2008, her throat slit with surgical precision.
initially named the Talwars' missing Nepali housekeeper as the prime
suspect, until his lifeless body was found a day later on a terrace
above Aarushi's room.
The double-murder became one of the most closely-watched whodunits
in recent memory in India, with dramatic turns by police and prosecutors
seizing national headlines and launching debates over details of the
Prosecutors for the Central Bureau of Investigation had asked for the death penalty.
"Such crime comes under the rarest of rare cases," prosecutor Naresh Yadav said.
"So they should be awarded maximum punishment."
The investigation determined both victims had been hit with a golf club and later had their throats slit.
Police offered several possible motives in prosecuting the parents, including an honour killing.
other suspects had been questioned by police, and after the case
stalled, the Talwars in 2011 demanded a fresh investigation.
couple was also sentenced to an additional five years in prison for
destruction of evidence, while Rajesh Talwar got another year for
"furnishing false information to the police regarding the murder of his
daughter" by the 45-year-old housekeeper.