1988 road rage case: Supreme Court verdict on Navjot Sidhu's plea today

1988 road rage case: Supreme Court verdict on Navjot Sidhu's plea today

He was, however, spared the jail term with the top court acquitting him "for culpable homicide not amounting to murder".

Headed by Justice Jasti Chelameswar, and also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, the bench slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on Sidhu, who is now a member of the Council of Ministers in Punjab.

Last month Sidhu's advocate argued in the court that it was not his client's fault behind the death of the victim in a road rage case.

The court also acquitted Sidhu's aide Rupinder Singh Sandhu in the case. The Supreme court, though, fined Sidhu Rs 1,000 and did not give him a jail term. The 55-year-old cricketer-turned-politician won't go to jail and will retain his portfolio in the Punjab government. In 2007, the Supreme Court suspended Mr Sidhu's sentence and granted him bail. He will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000.

Interestingly, the State prosecution also agreed with the high court's conviction and sentence for the Tourism Minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government. His acquittal on culpable homicide charges shows justice has prevailed.

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Navjot Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu beat up Gurnam Singh over vehicle parking.

According to the prosecution, on December 27, 1988 Sidhu and Sandhu had been parked in a Gypsy in the middle of a road in Patiala when the victim and 2 others driving in a Maruti found the Gypsy and asked the occupants to remove it. The injured was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

The police had claimed that Singh was beaten up by Sidhu who later fled the crime scene. Sidhu entered politics as well by joining Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and contested in the Indian general elections of 2014 from Amritsar seat.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S K Kaul reserved its order with the accused telling the court that evidence about the cause of death of the victim Gurnam Singh was "contradictory" and the medical opinion "vague". Had the court held Sidhu guilty of the bigger offence, it would have potentially ended his political career.

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