Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Amarinder defends government stand in road rage case against Navjot Singh Sidhu

Amarinder defends government stand in road rage case against Navjot Singh Sidhu

A day after the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 30-year-old road rage case, the minister tried to put on a courageous face, saying he was ready to carry "any burden" that he may have to because of his own government's stance, even as Opposition demanded his resignation.

A party leader backed the counsel's stand and said Congress government will not shield its ministers or MLAs like Yogi Adityanath government in UP.

The government said the trial court was wrong in its finding that Singh had died of cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage.

According to the prosecution, the case involving Sidhu is 30 years old.

Counsel, appearing for the Punjab government, Sangram Singh Saron, submitted to the apex court that the statement given by Sidhu denying his involvement in the case was false. After arguing against Mr Sidhu in the high court, it could not change its stand before the Supreme Court, they said.

In 2007, the apex court stayed the conviction of Sidhu and Sandhu in the case, paving the way for him to contest the by-poll for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. The government has told the Supreme Court that the Punjab and Haryana high court was correct in convicting its incumbent minister.

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The bench said through the verdict, some filters have been put in place, which are not against the basic tenet of law. The ordinance route would be taken in case the Supreme Court refuses to review its judgment, he also said.

"The continued presence of Sidhu in the Punjab cabinet is not only utterly untenable on moral grounds but is also a grave legal and constitutional absurdity, mocking the constitution of India".

"Even in the Assembly, Khaira acted as more loyal than the King and came to the help of the Congress government whenever we cornered it on issues of public interest".

At the same time, a television channel has quoted Sidhu saying that he had described the State Government's opposition to his acquittal plea as "like stabbing in the back". "It is clear that the state government was helping Sidhu", Cheema alleged.

Captain Singh's government, officials say, had no choice but to oppose its own minister in court.

Singh was beaten up by Sidhu and later fled the crime scene. The man received injuries to his head, and subsequently died of brain hemorrhage.

He said, "The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the High Court". However, in September 1999, the Punjab and Haryana High Court convicted Sidhu and his accomplice for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. It sentenced him to jail for three years.

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