Tandoor case: SC starts hearing on plea of death row convict

Sushil Sharma was convicted for murdering his wife and then disposing of her body by burning it in a tandoor.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced hearing on a petition filed by jailed former Youth Congress leader Sushil Sharma challenging his conviction and death sentence in the 1995 Naina Sahni murder case, which became famous as the `tandoor` case.

The arguments began before a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, five years after Sharma filed the appeal against the Delhi High Court judgement confirming the conviction and death penalty awarded to him for murdering his wife Naina on suspicion that she was having an extra-marital affair.

Sharma was convicted for murdering his wife and then disposing of her body by burning it in a tandoor.

Senior advocate Jaspal Singh started the arguments on behalf of the former Youth Congress leader by reading out the evidence which was placed by the prosecution to support its case.

The bench, also comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi, said it was a serious matter and all aspects of the case will be considered.

Sharma, in his petition filed in 2007, has contended that the high court has erroneously concluded that the offence committed by him falls under the rarest of rare category, warranting the capital punishment.

The high court, on February 19, 2007 had confirmed the death penalty awarded to him by the trial court saying the offence was an act of extreme depravity that shook the conscience of the society.

It had held that the reasoning given by the trial court for convicting and awarding death sentence to Sharma in the case was justified and he did not deserve any mercy for the gruesome killing.

The high court had rejected the mercy plea of reducing the death sentence into life imprisonment for Sharma.

It had rejected his contention that the offence was committed on a spur of moment. The trial court on November 7, 2003 had sentenced Sharma to death for killing his wife at their residence in Gole Market area in central Delhi on the intervening night of July 2-3, 1995.


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