SC reserves verdict on Sidhu's plea in 1988 road-rage case
(Sourced from PTI)
The Supreme Court today reserved its judgment on the appeal filed by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict convicting and sentencing him to three years in jail in a 1988 road rage case. Senior advocate RS Cheema, appearing for Sidhu, said the evidence brought on record regarding the cause of death of the victim was "indefinite and contradictory".
The bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul also reserved its verdict on the appeal filed by Rupinder Singh Sandhu, who along with Sidhu was sentenced to three years in jail by the high court in the case. Sidhu had earlier told the bench that the findings of the high court were based on "opinion" and not on medical evidence.
The former cricketer had argued that there was "ambiguity" regarding the actual cause of death of Patiala resident Gurnam Singh. Sidhu was acquitted of the murder charges by the trial court in September 1999. However, the high court had reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and co-accused Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December 2006.
As per prosecution case, Sidhu and Sandhu were allegedly present in a Gypsy parked near Sheranwala Gate Crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988, when Gurnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh, and another person were going to the bank to withdraw money for a marriage.
It was alleged that when they reached the Crossing, Gurnam Singh, driving a Maruti car, found the Gypsy in middle of the road and asked the occupants, Sidhu and Sandhu, to remove the vehicle for their passage. This led to heated exchanges. Police had claimed that Singh was beaten up by Sidhu. The injured was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.