‘Tandoor’ murder case: Delhi HC seeks explanation for rejecting Sushil Sharma’s release
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought to know why the sentence review board (SRB) had rejected convict Sushil 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.
Convicted of the murder of his wife, Naina Sahani, in what was later known as the ‘tandoor murder case’, Sharma had been accused of chopping his wife’s body and putting it in a tandoor (clay oven).
In 2003, a city court awarded him death sentence which was later upheld by the Delhi High Court in 2007. In 2013, the SC commuted his death sentence stating that there was “no evidence” of Sharma chopping his wife’s body.
“Where is the tandoor? There was no evidence found by the Supreme Court that the body was chopped,” a bench of justice Siddharth Mirdul and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said on Tuesday.
The court’s remarks come while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by Sharma through advocate Amit Sahni who had alleged that Sharma’s incarceration was illegal.
An SRB meeting was held on October 4 where 111 cases were placed for consideration out of which 22 convicts were released. Further, three cases were deferred and 86 cases were rejected, including Sharma’s case.
On Tuesday, the court said that it needs to see the records as many questions remained unanswered. “We see a lot of questions that remain unanswered. We are taking time because there will be wider ramifications,” the court said.
Sahni contended that the SRB has wrongly rejected Sharma’s release while other convicts have been granted release even after being awarded two life sentences for kidnapping.
However, appearing for the Delhi government, its standing counsel Rahul Mehra stated said the L-G, who is the competent authority to decide the pre-mature release of convicts, had accepted the SRB recommendations not to release Sharma and all records were put before him.
The court will hear the arguments on December 19.