Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Supreme Court acquits Navjot Singh Sidhu in 1988 road rage case

Sidhu Tehelka Sidhu acquitted in road rage case
Rita Gibson | 15 May, 2018, 23:40

The Supreme Court on Tuesday concluded that Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was not guilty of culpable homicide in a 30-year-old road rage case which resulted in the death of a man.

This judgment was delivered by a Division Bench comprising Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul a month after it was reserved on April 18 this year.

The tourism minister in the Amarinder Singh government, Sidhu had hit a 65-year-old man, Gurnam Singh, on the head during an argument over the parking of a auto in December 1988. However, the High Court reversed this in December 2006 and held them guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The cricketer-turned-politician has been convicted under Section 323 of IPC (imprisonment of 1-2 years or a fine exceeding 1000 rupees or both).

When 65-year-old man Gurnam Singh reached the spot in a auto, he asked them to move aside.

In September 1999, both Sidhu and Sandhu were acquitted by the trial court.

It also acquitted Sidhu's aide Rupinder Singh Sandhu of all charges saying there was no trustworthy evidence regarding his presence along with Sidhu at the time of the offence.

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Defending the government's stand in the Apex Court, Capt Amarinder had stated that they could not have backtracked from the stand it had taken earlier in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Singh was beaten up by Sidhu and later fled the crime scene. Sidhu was awarded three years in jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

In 2007, the apex court had granted bail to Sidhu and stayed his conviction, enabling him to contest the Amritsar by-election, the same seat he had to vacate after being convicted by the trial court.

Congress-led Punjab government's stand against Sidhu in the Supreme Court sought seeking to upheld the High Court's verdict of three-year jail imprisonment to Sidhu has raised questions over his relevance within the Congress.

The High Court said that Gurnam Singh did not die of cardiac arrest, but injury on the temporal region.

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