Within days after the party high command has served him a show-cause notice, Congress leader and cricketer-turned-politician received another setback as Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced one-year imprisonment to him in a three-decade-old road rage case.
According to a news agency, the Supreme Court allowed the review application on the issue of sentence against Sidhu, saying, "We have allowed review application on the issue of sentence. In addition to the fine imposed, we impose a sentence of imprisonment of one year to be undergone by respondent Sidhu."
The order was delivered by a bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
Supreme Court agreed to hear a review petition in the road rage case
In February this year, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking a review of its May 2018 order that let off the cricketer-turned-politician in a 1988 road rage case in which a person was killed.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the review petition filed by the victim's family seeking a review of its May 15, 2018 verdict that let off Sidhu with a Rs 1,000 fine in a 1988 road rage case in which a Patiala resident Gurnam Singh died.
The petitioner has sought a review of the court's earlier order letting Navjot Sidhu off with a fine of Rs 1000 in this case.
In May 2018, Punjab and Haryana High Court had convicted Sidhu for voluntary causing hurt and sentenced him to three years in jail but the Supreme Court let him off with a fine noting the incident was more than 30 years old, there was no past enmity between the accused and victim, and no weapon was used by accused.
Sidhu has opposed the decision to hear the review petition
According to the news agency, Sidhu opposed the plea seeking to enlarge the scope of the road rage case against him citing earlier order of the apex court which held that there was no evidence that the death of the victim was caused by a single blow in the road rage case.
Sidhu's submission came while replying to an application filed by family members of the victim seeking to enlarge the scope of notice in the review petition in a three-decade-old road rage case against him.
Sidhu, responding to the application filed by the petitioner seeking to enlarge the scope of notice, submitted that the application was devoid of any merits and ought to be dismissed.
Sidhu was acquitted in connection with the culpable homicide charges but was convicted of the offence of voluntarily causing hurt. The court had slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on Sidhu. The court had also acquitted Sidhu's associate, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, in the case.
- This high-profile road rage case dates to 1988 when Sidhu had punched a man resulting in the latter's death
- The Sessions Court Judge of Patiala had on September 22, 1999, acquitted Sidhu and his associate, due to a lack of evidence in the case and giving the benefit of the doubt.
- It was then challenged by the victim's families before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had in 2006, convicted and sentenced Sidhu to three years imprisonment.
- Sidhu then filed an appeal before the apex court challenging this order. The Supreme Court in 2018 set aside the 2006 order and let off Navjot Singh Sidhu with a mere Rs 1,000 fine.
- In February 2022, the family of the victim filed a review petition in the Supreme Court.
What was the case?
According to the prosecution, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Rupinder Singh Sandhu were in a Gypsy parked in the middle of a road near the Sheranwala Gate Crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988, when the victim and two others were on their way to the bank to withdraw money.
When they reached the crossing, it was alleged, that Gurnam Singh, driving a Maruti car, found the Gypsy in the middle of the road and asked the occupants, Sidhu and Sandhu, to remove it. This led to heated exchanges followed by exchanging of blows. In the melee, Sidhu and Sandhu punched Gurnam Singh who later died.
Will submit to the majesty of law ….— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) May 19, 2022
Will submit to the majesty of law, reacts Sidhu
Within minutes after the verdict of the Supreme Court, Sidhu gave his first reaction after the Supreme Court has imposed one-year rigorous imprisonment in the old road rage case against him.
"Will submit to the majesty of law ….," said Navjot Singh Sidhu twitted.