Naina Sahni was the victim of the 1995 tandoor murder case.[1] On 2 July 1995, 29-year-old Sahni was killed by her husband Sushil Sharma, an Indian National Congress youth leader.[2] Sushil Sharma was convicted for the murder by the Trial Court, Delhi High Court and Supreme Court. In October 2013, Sharma's death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court.[3][4]

Tandoor murder case edit

Sushil Sharma objected to his wife Naina Sahni's friendship with Matloob Karim. Matloob and Naina were classmates and fellow Congress workers. Sushil suspected Naina of having an extramarital relationship with Matloob. On the night of 2 July 1995, Sushil came home and saw Naina talking on the phone and consuming alcohol. Naina, on seeing Sushil, hung up. Sushil redialed the phone to find Matloob on the other end. Enraged, he fatally shot Naina. He took the body to a restaurant named Bagiya and tried to dispose it off with the restaurant manager, Keshav Kumar. The body was put in a tandoor (clay oven) to burn.[5] Police arrested Keshav Kumar but Sharma managed to flee. He surrendered on 10 July 1995.[3] The case also involved the use of DNA evidence to establish the identity of the victim.

The first autopsy was conducted at the Lady Hardinge Medical College and the cause of death was opined to be burn injuries. The second autopsy was ordered by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, which was conducted by a team of three doctors from three different hospitals headed by T. D. Dogra. They detected two bullets in head and neck region, opined cause of death due to firearm injuries. With that, the course of investigation changed and the actual story came to light. This case is a landmark citation for fruitful second autopsy.[6]Delhi Police investigated the case and filed a charge sheet on 27 July 1995 in a Sessions Court. On 7 November 2003, Sushil Sharma was sentenced to death and restaurant manager, Keshav Kumar, was given seven years rigorous imprisonment.[3]

Sharma appealed against District Court Judgement in Delhi High Court trial court judgement. The Delhi High Court upheld the lower courts' decision.[3] 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.[7] On 8 October 2013, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjan Gogoi of the Supreme Court upheld Sharma's conviction. However, the court commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment because Sharma doesn't have a criminal antecedent and it is not a crime against society, but it is a crime committed by the accused due to a strained personal relationship with his wife.[4]

On 21 December 2018, Delhi High Court ordered immediate release of Sushil Sharma.[8]

References edit

  1. ^ "Tandoor Murder Case: Sushill Sharma found guilty". Express India. 3 November 2003.
  2. ^ "From the India Today archives (1995) | Naina Sahni: Murder most foul". India Today. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "Timeline of events". 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b Venkatesan, J (8 October 2013). "Sushil Kumar spared noose in tandoor murder case". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Tandoor Case: Murder most foul". 28 October 2003.
  6. ^ "Samachar.Com". 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  7. ^ "'Tandoor' murder case: Delhi HC seeks explanation for rejecting Sushil Sharma's release". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Release tandoor killer Sushil Sharma from jail: Delhi High Court". India Today. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2020.