January 23, 2019

SC acquits Sidhu of culpable homicide in road rage case

15 May 2018, 11:39 | Anna Jefferson

Navjot Singh Sidhu spared jail term in 1988 road rage case: Almighty always helped me tide over difficult times, says minister

Sidhu acquitted in road rage case

While the party witnessed a defeat in Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, the Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted Punjab Congress minister Navjot Singh Sindhu in the 1988 road rage case.

The cricketer-turned-politician had allegedly hit an elderly 65-year-old man, Gurnam Singh after they had a heated argument over the issue of parking cars. He was, however, spared the jail term with the top court acquitting him "for culpable homicide not amounting to murder".

In doing so, the apex court set aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court's verdict in the 1988 road rage case.

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

Sidhu's counsel RS Cheema argued before the court that the medical opinion on the cause of death of the victim, Gurnam Singh, was vague.

According to the prosecution, Navjot Singh Sidhu and co-convict Rupinder Singh Sandhu were allegedly present in a Gypsy parked near Sheranwala Gate crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988, while Gurnam Singh was on his way to a bank in a Maruti vehicle with two others.

Meanwhile, the victim's family appealed to the apex court to enhance the 3 year jail term awarded by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Earlier in the day, Sidhu was acquitted by the Supreme Court in culpable homicide charges, but was convicted of the offence of causing hurt.

The high court sentenced them to three-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts. Police claimed that Singh was beaten up by Sidhu who later fled the crime scene.

The Trial Court had acquitted the appellants in 1999 on the grounds that the death of the victim was caused due to cardiac arrest and not due to the injuries sustained in the assault. He was given bail in 2007 by the top court, which had also stayed his conviction to enable him contest Lok Sabha by polls from Amritsar.

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.

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