Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Navjot Singh Sidhu acquitted in decades-old road rage case

1988 road rage case Supreme Court verdict on Navjot Sidhu's plea today Navjot Singh Sidhu acquitted in decades-old road rage case
Patty Aguilar | 15 May, 2018, 13:53

Last month, Punjab government urged the Supreme Court to confirm the conviction of its own minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in a road rage case that he was involved in 1988 and sentence him to 3 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Punjab Congress chief and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar said truth has been victorious while reacting to the Supreme Court verdict in the road rage case involving Sidhu.

The prosecution version said Mr. Sidhu and Rupinder Singh Sandhu, represented by senior counsel R.Basant and advocate Karthik Ashok, were allegedly in a Gypsy parked on the middle of a road near the Sheranwala Gate Crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988. The Sessions Court Judge of Patiala on September 22, 1999, had acquitted Sidhu and his associate, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, due to lack of evidence in the case.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul pronounced the verdict on a cross-appeal filed by the victim's family seeking enhancement of the jail term to them. However, the Punjab government appealed to the apex court to uphold three-year imprisonment. This exchange, according to the prosecution led to a physical assault by the appellants on the victim who was pronounced dead when he was taken to the hospital. They were charged also fined Rs 1 lakh each.

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Sidhu, who joined the Indian National Congress in 2017, was convicted under Section 323 (causing hurt) of the India Penal Code.

Reversing the High Court ruling, the apex court acquitted him of the serious charge of culpable homicide in the 1988 case.

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. Section 323 of IPC says whosoever voluntarily causes hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. After Supreme Court's decision Sidhu was able to contest the assembly elections from Amritsar. In 2007, the Supreme Court suspended Mr Sidhu's sentence and granted him bail.

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