Tough days ahead for Navjot Singh Sidhu in Patiala jail
Tough days are ahead for the former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu lodged in the Patiala Central Jail as he will undergo rigorous imprisonment with no special treatment or food. Sidhu, who surrendered before the court on Friday after being convicted in the 1988 road rage case, will have to work daily as per the jail manual despite his medical condition.
Sidhu reportedly had a difficult first night in jail as he apparently skipped meals, but did take his medicines. The jail officials told HT Sidhu is cooperating with them. "He didn't receive special treatment or meals," they added. In the future, he may buy a special meal from the jail canteen or cook it himself if a doctor orders it, the officials further added.
As per the jail authorities, the cricketer-turned-politician has to work daily during his one-year prison term, which can earn him up to Rs. 60/day. Sidhu will be prepared for the initial three months, as per the rules so that he can manage himself. Notably, an unskilled inmate gets Rs. 40, while a skilled one gets Rs. 60 for each day of work.
Sidhu's day in the prison would reportedly begin at 5:30 am and end at 7:00 pm after the day's work and meals. Another high-profile prisoner Bikram Majithia, a Shiromani Akali Dal leader, is also being held in the same jail, but in a different barrack on narcotics charges. Notably, both Sidhu and Majithia were recently defeated in the Assembly elections by AAP's Jeevanjot Kaur.
Sidhu underwent acute deep vein thrombosis treatment at a Delhi hospital in 2015, according to his media advisor Surinder Dalla. He stated that because of Sidhu's medical condition, he must wear large plastic bands on his legs to prevent clot development. Sidhu also requires many medications and has been advised to avoid a diet including wheat flour due to the condition, Dalla noted.
On Friday, Sidhu surrendered before a Patiala court, just hours after he sought more time from the Supreme Court due to his medical condition. To recall, Sidhu was sentenced to one year of imprisonment on Thursday in a road rage case dating back to 1988 which allegedly resulted in the death of an elderly person.
Sidhu was sentenced by a Supreme Court bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul on Thursday. The court agreed to reconsider its May 2018 decision exonerating Sidhu in the case in which a Patiala resident named Gurnam Singh had died. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had convicted him of culpable homicide and sentenced him to three years in prison in 2018.
On December 27, 1988, Singh (65) asked Sidhu and his friend RS Sandhu to move their vehicle from a certain spot. Following an altercation, Singh was assaulted and later taken to hospital. However, he succumbed to injuries. Thereafter, an FIR was lodged in Punjab's Patiala district. On September 22, 1999, however, a trial court in Patiala acquitted Sidhu and Sandhu in the case.