Navjot Sidhu to be released from jail on April 1
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu is set to walk out of Punjab's Patiala Jail on April 1 as he nears the end of his one-year sentence imposed by the Supreme Court of India (SC) in a 1988 road rage case. As per a tweet posted on Sidhu's official Twitter handle, concerned authorities have authorized his release from jail.
Why does this story matter?
- To recall, Sidhu was sentenced to one year of imprisonment by the apex court last year in a 34-year-old road rage case that resulted in the death of a person.
- The deceased victim's family had demanded a review of a 2018 order of the SC acquitting the Congress leader of murder charges and imposing a Rs. 1,000 fine on him.
Twitter post announcing Sidhu's release
Congress chief Warring appealed for Sidhu's early release
Last month, state Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring urged Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for the early jail release of the senior party leader. Warring's appeal came just days after the state Cabinet approved a proposal to grant five jailed convicts special remission. However, despite strong speculations about his early release, Sidhu's name was not among them.
Know about Sidhu's road rage case
Reportedly, in 1988, the victim Gurnam Singh and two other people were on their way to the bank when they found Sidhu and his aide Rupinder Singh Sandhu parked in the middle of the road. When asked to move, the duo became enraged, and Sidhu thrashed Singh on the head. Singh was rushed to a hospital in a rickshaw, where he was declared dead.
Court's judgment on Sidhu and Sandhu
In September 1999, the Patiala Sessions Court acquitted both Sidhu and Sindhu of murder charges. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in December 2006 reversed the sentence and held them guilty under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 304 (II). The court also sentenced the two accused to three years in prison and fined them Rs. 1 lakh each.
SC overturned HC's judgment
Sidhu then challenged the high court's order in SC, which overturned the ruling and instead asked Sidhu to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000 "since the incident was 30 years old at the time, there was no enmity between parties and no weapon was used." Per Sidhu's counsel, HPS Varma, a convict with good behavior is eligible for general remission under Punjab Prison rules.