Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Supreme Court acquits Navjot Singh Sidhu in road rage case

Supreme Court acquits Navjot Singh Sidhu in road rage case

Punjab Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi on Tuesday congratulated Local Government, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on his acquittal in the 1988 old rage case.

However, the high court had reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and Sandhu guilty under Section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC in December 2006. However, defending his government's stance in Supreme Court, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said they had no legal option available. This led to heated exchanges during which Sidhu allegedly hit the driver 65-year-old Gurnam Singh.

It was on 27 December 1988 that Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu bashed up Gurnam Singh on the road over a trivial vehicle parking feud.

The other accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu has been acquitted. In today's judgement, Sidhu has been acquitted of all charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and has been let off with a fine of Rs 1,000 for causing hurt to Gurnam Singh.

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The victim's family had appealed to the Supreme Court that earlier imprisonment sentence of three years given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court should be enhanced. The injured was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

Singh was beaten up by Sidhu and later fled the crime scene. 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.

It said the only fact established on evidence was that Sidhu gave a single fist blow on the head of the deceased Gurnam Singh but no weapon was used, nor was there any past enmity between them. It had said that Gurnam Singh did not die of cardiac arrest but due to the injury on his temporal lobe.

The apex court in 2007 stayed the conviction after counsel appearing for Sidhu had contended that the findings of the High Court were based on opinions and not medical evidence.

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