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1995 Tandoor murder case: Delhi HC orders immediate release of convict Sushil Sharma

Sushil Sharma, a former youth Congress leader, was convicted of murdering his wife in 1995 and burning her body in a Tandoor.

1995 Tandoor murder case: Delhi HC orders immediate release of convict Sushil Sharma

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the immediate release of 1995 Tandoor murder case convict Sushil Sharma.

A tweet from news agency ANI confirmed the development.

Earlier this week, the high court had come down heavily on the state government and asked whether a person could be allowed to be kept in jail indefinitely for the offence of murder even if he had already served the sentence.

The court raised the query while responding to a plea by Sharma, a former youth Congress leader, who was serving a life term in the 1995 murder of his wife Naina Sahni, seeking release after having undergone 29 years of incarceration.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said that it was concerned with the human rights of the prisoner and termed the issue as “very serious”.

“He is incarcerated for over 25 years including remission. A murder itself is brutal. He has already served the sentence. Does it not infringe upon his human rights, which are inalienable rights. The Sentence Review Board (SRB) cannot say no no this murder was brutal, so we will not release him,” the bench said.

The court had earlier issued a notice to the Delhi Government and sought its reply on Sharma’s Habeas Corpus plea seeking release from custody on the grounds that he has been jailed for 29 years, including the period of remission, and his continued incarceration was illegal.

The bench further said that “if we allow the executive to keep a person in jail indefinitely, where do we draw the line. Then nobody will be released ever for committing a murder”.

Sharma, now 56, 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.

Infamous as the tandoor (oven) murder case, it is one of the landmark cases in India in which DNA evidence and a second autopsy were used to establish the guilt of the accused.

Another ground on which Sharma had sought release from custody is that both his parents are over 80 years old and suffering from various ailments and there is no one to look after them.