Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Navjot Singh Sidhu acquitted in road rage case

Supreme Court has reversed chandigarh High Court's order today as its judgement on the appeal filed by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu Supreme Court has reversed chandigarh High Court's order today as its judgement on the appeal filed by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu
Cary Erickson | 15 May, 2018, 23:41

The apex court on Tuesday acquitted Punjab Congress MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu under Section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the 1988 Patiala road rage case.

A bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had reserved the judgment on April 18 after hearing arguments from counsels of the Punjab government as well as Sidhu and his cousin.

By 2006, Sidhu, elected Member of Parliament, was forced to resign as he and his friend were found guilty by the Punjab and Haryana High Court of culpable homicide and were awarded a three-year prison sentence each.

The apex court, however, spared him jail term in the 30-year-old case, where Sidhu voluntarily caused hurt to 65-year-old Gurnam Singh.

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Cricketer turned poltician, Sidhu and Sandhu were initially tried for murder, but the trial court in September 1999 acquitted the Congress leader. It had told the Supreme Court that the Punjab and Haryana High Court was correct in convicting its incumbent minister. A jail sentence of more than two years would have put to an end his political inning as the law says that an MP, MLA or an MLC immediately loses his seat on conviction and is barred from contesting elections for six years, after the end of the sentence. Soon after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict, Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu expressed its happiness and said, "I want to thank the people of Punjab, due to their prayers I have come out ten feet tall".

On December 27, 1988, Sidhu and Rupinder Singh Sandhu allegedly parked their Gypsy in the middle of the road near the Sheranwala Gate-Crossing, Patiala.

Sidhu then beat up Singh. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.

The state had argued that the trial court was wrong in its finding that the man had died of cardiac arrest and not brain haemorrhage. Senior lawyer RS Cheema, who was leading Sidhu's case, had said before the bench, the order of the High Court was not based on medical evidence, it was based on conjecture and there is no justification for such an estimate.