Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Sidhu's conviction by HC correct, Punjab tells SC

Sidhu's conviction by HC correct, Punjab tells SC

A day after the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 30-year-old road rage case, the minister tried to put on a fearless face, saying he was ready to carry "any burden" that he may have to because of his own government's stance, even as Opposition demanded his resignation.

Sidhu was cautious enough to speak against his own Government's stand in the Apex Court, saying that only the Chief Minister or the Advocate General could comment on this.

As per the prosecution case, Sidhu and Sandhu were allegedly present in a Gypsy parked near Sheranwala Gate Crossing on December 27, 1988, when Gurnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh and one other were going to bank to withdraw money for a marriage function. The Punjab government appealed to the Supreme Court to uphold the High Court's verdict. "This is a 30-year-old matter". Appearing before a bench of Justices J Chelameshwar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, the state government's counsel said that Singh died of brain haemorrhage and not cardiac arrest.

The Punjab minister was initially acquitted by the Patiala sessions court in 1999. The state government took a clear stand against Sidhu by declaring that his statement to the court was false.

In 2007, the apex court stayed the conviction of Sidhu and Sandhu in the case, paving the way for him to contest the by-poll for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

Sources in the government said the state's stand was discussed at a higher level before being sent to the SC. "Similarly, in this case also, he is happy to be seen with Sidhu rather than the poor family that has lost an innocent member at his hands", SAD alleged.

Singh was beaten up by Sidhu and later fled the crime scene. "Sidhu had given a feisty blow to Gurnam Singh, leading to his death through brain haemorrhage", said the counsel. The man received injuries to his head, and subsequently died of brain hemorrhage. The Congress government's statements came after a local court reversed the judgement of a trial court, which had earlier discharged the Punjab minister, and sentenced him to serve three years in jail.

The high court sentenced them to three-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts.

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