The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on an appeal filed by former Youth Congress leader Sushil Sharma against his conviction and death sentence in the 1995 Naina Sahni murder case,popularly known as the tandoor case.
A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam concluded the hearing on the petition during which Sharmas counsel and senior advocate Jaspal Singh said the case did not fall in the rarest of rare category warranting capital punishment.
He submitted that the conviction was entirely based on the circumstantial evidence and that death penalty cannot be awarded to Sharma.
However,the prosecution said the case falls in the category of the rarest of rare and the trial court and the Delhi High Court were justified in awarding the death sentence.
The arguments before the bench,also comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi,had commenced five years after Sharma filed an appeal against the Delhi High Court judgment confirming the conviction and death penalty awarded to him for murdering his wife Naina on suspicion that she was having an extra-marital affair.
The trial court had on November 7,2003,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 and disposing of her body by burning it in a tandoor .
In his petition filed in 2007,Sharma contended that the High Court had erroneously concluded that the offence committed by him falls under the rarest of rare category,warranting capital punishment.
The high court had on February 19,2007,confirmed the death penalty awarded to him by the trial court saying the offence was an act of extreme depravity that it shook the conscience of society.