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1995 Tandoor Murder Case: Delhi HC orders release of convict Sushil Sharma

Sushil Sharma has spent 29 years in jail, SC had commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment

The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the release of Congress leader and former MLA Sushil Sharma, who was convicted for killing and burning wife Naina Sahni in a ‘tandoor’ in 1995.

According to the reports, the court was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by Sushil Sharma on Tuesday seeking release after spending 29 years in prison. The lawyers had argued that Sharma had no criminal antecedents and is soon going to attain the age of 60. He had also asserted that Sharma had already reformed himself should be released under the guidelines laid by the Sentence Review Board (SRB).

The court had expressed displeasure over Sharma’s stay in jail and had questioned authorities on why Sharma was allowed to be kept in jail indefinitely for the offence of murder, even after serving the sentence.

The Delhi High Court sought to know why the sentence review board (SRB) had rejected Sharma’s premature release on grounds of “brutality”, despite the Supreme Court ruling there was no evidence that he had chopped his wife’s body.

Sushil Sharma, a Congress leader and former MLA, had killed his wife Naina Sahni over suspicion of having an extramarital affair, and later had cut the body into pieces and burnt it inside a ‘tandoor’. The murder case later was referred to as ‘Tandoor Murder Case’.

Sharma had shot Naina twice after he had caught her talking over the phone with Khan on the night of 2 July 1995. Soon, he took the body to a local restaurant called ‘Bagiya’ owned by a friend and had tried to dispose of the body with the help of restaurant manager, Keshav Kumar.

The police had arrested Keshav Kumar but Sharma managed to flee initially but he had surrendered on 10 July 1995. The Delhi Police had investigated the case and filed a charge sheet on 27 July 1995 in a Sessions Court. In 2003, a city court had awarded Sushil Sharma death sentence which was later upheld by the Delhi High Court in 2007.

A three-judge bench on 8 October 2013 Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjan Gogoi of the Supreme Court had upheld Sharma’s conviction but it commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment.

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