There were nearly 300 people packed into the tiny courtroom where dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar were waiting to find out if they would spend their lives in prison after being accused of murdering their teen daughter, Aarushi, and domestic help Hemraj.
The judges of the Allahabad High Court arrived at 2.40 pm. It took them 10 minutes to read out the verdict which acquits the Talwars of the double murder at their home in Noida near Delhi in 2008.
They were in jail when the verdict was announced.
The Talwars had been found guilty by a lower court in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison. The CBI had sought the death penalty for them.
The judges today said that the Talwars were given the benefit of the doubt and that there was "no irresistible conclusion that accused did the murders" which means the CBI failed to provide enough evidence against the couple. Their earlier conviction was based on circumstantial evidence.
Aarushi Talwar, a teen just days away from turning 14, was found with her throat slit in her bed in her home. Hemraj, the family's Nepali help, was at first the main suspect, but next day his body was found on the roof of the apartment building where the Talwars lived.
The CBI said in 2010 that it did not have evidence against the Talwars and wanted to close the case as unsolved, though it also said that it believed Rajesh Talwar had killed his daughter. However, a CBI court said the case could not be shut.
The investigation has been marked by a series of lapses including the mishandling of evidence and allowing reporters to access the crime scene when Hemraj's corpse was found.