Delhi Tandoor Murder Case: Rarest of the Rare Case? | A Timeline of the Case

Delhi Tandoor Murder Case: Rarest of the Rare Case? | A Timeline of the Case 1

Sushil Sharma was accused of killing her wife (Naina Sahni) over an extra-marital affair and then trying to dispose of the body by trying to burn it in a tandoor (clay oven). Both Sushil and Naina were active members of the Youth Congress at the time of the incident.

A Delhi Session Court awarded Sushil Sharma a death sentence on 03rd Nov 2003 which was further confirmed by the Delhi High Court in 2007. In 2013, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment under the Delhi remission rules. Subsequently, Sushil Sharma was released in 2018 on the order passed by the Delhi High Court. Let us understand the case through the timeline below:

  • 2nd July 1995: Sushil Sharma shot dead his wife Naina Sahni under the rage of having an extra-marital affair and then took the body to his friend’s restaurant, Baghiya Restaurant, to dispose of the body in Tandoor (clay oven).
  • 2nd July 1995: Police find and recover the burnt body of Naina Sahni from the restaurant and arrest Sushil’s friend Keshav Kumar.
  • 10th July: Sushil Sharma was arrested by police in Bangalore saying that he was on a pilgrimage and wasn’t aware of the death of his wife.
  • 27th July: Police files chargesheet against Sushil Sharma along with others.
  • 3rd to 7th November 2003: Delhi’s Session Court awards death sentence to Sushil Sharma.
  • Dec 2003: Sushil moved Delhi High Court against the order passed by the session court.
  • Feb 2007: Delhi High Court upholds the death sentence of Sushil Sharma passed earlier by Session Court.
  • 8th Oct 2013: The Hon’ble Supreme Court commutes the death sentence awarded to Sushil Sharma to life sentence which means imprisonment for the whole of the remaining life, however, subject to remission granted by the appropriate government. The Supreme Court also considered relationships, previous criminal record, etc while commuting the sentence and said “.. 105. The murder was the outcome of a strained personal relationship. It was not an offence against society. The appellant has no criminal antecedents. He is not a confirmed criminal and no evidence is led by the State to indicate that he is likely to revert to such crimes in future. It is, therefore, not possible in the facts of the case to say that there is no chance of the appellant being reformed and rehabilitated. We do not think that option is closed…”
  • Dec 2018: Delhi High Court orders the release of Sharma saying that he was confined to prison for more than 20 years and as per Delhi Remission Policy, murder convicts whose death sentence had been commuted to life would be entitled to premature release after imprisonment of 20 years.
  • January 2023: The Delhi Government approaches the Supreme Court after more than 4 years of the release order, questioning the premature release of Sushil Sharma.
  • 05th January 2023: The Supreme Court rejects an appeal filed by the Delhi government saying that this objection cannot lie and that the court has granted similar premature release in the Rajeev Gandhi assassination case to 6 convicts.


  1. Abraham Thomas, Tandoor murder: Supreme Court Junks Delhi govt’s plea, Hindustan Times, Link
  2. Sushil Sharma vs NCT of Delhi, Criminal Appeal No. 693 of 2007, Link
  3. Wion Web Team, Tandoor murder case: A timeline, Wionews, Link

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