NEW DELHI: Former Congress leader Sushil Kumar Sharma, serving life imprisonment for the gruesome murder of his wife Naina Sahni and trying to destroy evidence by burning the body in a restaurant's tandoor, today got a breather for four more weeks, with Delhi High Court extending his parole.
Justice Siddharth Mridul, while granting relief said since Sharma's parole has been extended on various occasions on the ground of his mother's ailment, this was the "final" opportunity. He was asked to surrender before jail authorities on expiry of his parole without "demur".
"In view of the fact that the petitioner has remained in jail for over 20 years and is the only son of his 81-year-old father and 78-year-old mother, he has an obligation to provide medication to his ailing mother. I see no impediment in granting him one final parole.
"The parole granted to the petitioner is resultantly extended for further four weeks from July 27 onwards on the same terms and conditions (issued on May 7 while granting him parole)," the court said, adding that "the petitioner also undertakes to surrender before the jail authorities on expiry of his parole without demur".
Sharma, who was present in the court, had sought extension of parole by another six weeks on the ground that he needed to take care of his mother, who was suffering from coronary artery disease and advised to undergo coronary angioplasty with stenting.
He moved the court as the parole granted on May 7, later extended on June 8, June 21 and July 13, was scheduled to expire on July 27.
The court, however, took strong objection to his repeated requests for extension of parole saying, "There is a limit to what can be tolerated by the court".
Justice Mridul said, "I have never seen any accused getting so many extensions while he/she is out on parole. This court will not do this again. So you(Sharma) take this as final opportunity."
Sharma, a former Youth Congress leader, was convicted of murdering his wife Naina, whom he suspected of infidelity.
He shot her with his licensed revolver on July 2, 1995, took her body to a restaurant, chopped it into small pieces and tried to burn it in the restaurant's tandoor (oven).
A trial court had convicted Sharma on November 7, 2003, and awarded him death penalty.
The high court had upheld his death sentence in February 2007. The Supreme Court, however, commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment on October 8, 2013.