Tandoor murder: HC orders release of Sushil Sharma

Now 56, Sharma had shot dead his wife in 1995, objecting to her alleged relationship with a male friend. He had then chopped her body into pieces and attempted to burn it in a restaurant oven.

The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered "forthwith" release of former youth Congress leader Sushil Kumar Sharma, serving life term in the sensational "Tandoor murder" case.

Sharma, now 56, had shot his wife Naina Sahni dead in 1995, objecting to her alleged relationship with a male friend. He had then chopped her body into pieces and attempted to burn it in a restaurant's 'tandoor' oven.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal set aside and quashed the recommendations of the sentence review board (SRB), which had rejected Sharma's representation for premature release.

The court passed the order for release of Sharma, having noted that he has already undergone over two decades of incarceration.

Landmark case

It was one of the landmark cases in India in which DNA evidence and a second autopsy were used to establish the guilt of the accused.

In its order, the court rejected the "non-speaking affirmation" of SRB's recommendations by the Lieutenant Governor, who is the competent authority.

Cited guidelines

Sharma, who is in prison since 1995, had contended that guidelines for premature release state that life convicts sentenced for a single offence are to be released after completion of 20 years of incarceration and those who had committed heinous crimes are to be granted the relief after 25 years.

He said he has also undergone 29 years of incarceration, with remission, and 23 years and six months, without remission.

Sharma had also contended that his conduct in prison and while out on parole has been "exemplary" and he has never misused his liberty. The Supreme Court had in 2013 commuted death sentence of Sharma to life imprisonment, saying that the murder was an outcome of an estranged personal relationship and he was not a threat to society and could still be reformed.

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Tandoor murder: HC orders release of Sushil Sharma

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