Here is big sigh of relief to Punjab tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu as the Supreme Court today acquitted him in the 1988 Patiala road rage case.
The Supreme Court today said the cricketer-turned-politician is guilty of “voluntarily hurting” a 65-year-old man who died in hospital after being beaten up by Mr Sidhu during a roadside brawl in Patiala in 1988.
The Supreme court fined Sidhu Rs 1,000 and did not give him a jail term. Sidhu has been booked under Section 304 (II), amounting to culpable homicide but not amounting to murder, and acquitted under Section 323, which entails punishment for voluntarily causing harm.
In 1999, a trial court had acquitted him and another of murder due to lack of evidences, but the HC reversed the verdict and awarded them three-year jail terms in 2006. Ironically, the Punjab government has supported the HC’s judgement.
Earlier in April, the Congress government in Punjab has asked the Supreme Court to uphold Sidhu’s conviction in the decades-old case. The apex court had granted bail to the cricketer-turned-politician after he was sentenced to three years in prison by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
On December 27, 1988, Sidhu had allegedly hit 65-year-old Gurnam Singh after getting into an altercation with him in Patiala. Singh was rushed to a hospital, where he was declared dead.