In a major setback to former Punjab Congress President, and former Indian Cricketer, Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Supreme Court today sentenced him to one-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a 1988 road rage case.
“We allow the 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 1 (Sidhu),” the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, and also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said, in its order today.
The case dates back to December 27, 1988, when Sidhu, at that time a Cricketer, assaulted one, Gurnam Singh, and he died after the attack.
A 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.
Later on, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had convicted Sidhu Under Section 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sentenced him to 3 years in jail, but the Supreme Court in 2018, let him off with a mere fine only, after noting that the incident was more than 30 years old, there was no past enmity between accused and victim, no weapon was used by accused.
Subsequently, the family members of the deceased had moved to the Supreme Court by filing a review petition and sought a modification of the SC’s 2018 judgment.
The SC today, in its order allowed the review petition filed by the family of victim Gurnam Singh against its 2018 verdict.
The Supreme Court, however, rejected the plea of the Victim for fastening culpable homicide not amounting to murder charge under Section 304-A (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC on Sidhu.
The bench of the Supreme Court, which had reserved the judgment on March 25, today pronounced the verdict.
The review plea was filed before the Supreme Court by the victim’s family seeking review of its May 15, 2018, verdict, that let off Sidhu with a mere Rs 1,000 fine in a 1988 road rage case in which a Patiala resident, Gurnam Singh died.