The much-awaited verdict in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case will be pronounced by a special Ghaziabad court on Monday, nearly five-and-a-half years after the 14-year-old daughter of dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar was found brutally murdered along with their domestic help at their Noida residence.

Aarushi was found in her room with her throat slit on the morning of May 16, 2008, whereas Hemraj’s body was discovered a day later on the terrace. The case, which over the years saw several twists and turns, was initially investigated by the Noida police. It was then transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation following an uproar over the arrest of Aarushi’s father, with the police claiming that the murders were the fallout of Aarushi and Hemraj being found by the couple in an “objectionable but not compromising” position.

Almost a month after the incident, the CBI claimed to have cracked the case, alleging that the killers had been identified. The agency said the murders were committed by Dr. Talwar’s lab assistant Krishna in conspiracy with his family friend Durrani’s domestic help Raj Kumar and another domestic help Vijay Mandal. The three were arrested after being subjected to a series of tests, including brain mapping and narco-analysis that, according to the then CBI team, proved their complicity.

However, during the tenure of CBI Director Ashwani Kumar, the theory was debunked and another team comprising new faces was constituted for a fresh probe. The three accused were later given a clean chit and ironically, the probe again turned towards the suspected role of the Talwars.

The team filed a closure report on December 29, 2010, citing “insufficient evidence.” But the court rejected the report. Holding that there was prima facie evidence, the court subsequently ordered the framing of charges of murder and destruction of evidence against the couple, besides an additional charge against Rajesh Talwar of misleading the probe as he, in his complaint to the Noida police, had alleged that Hemraj murdered Aarushi.