New Delhi: In a huge setback to Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Supreme Court has issued notice on the question of enhancing the punishment in a road rage case of homicide not amounting to murder of a 65-year-old man in 1988.
In May this year a Bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar (since retired) set aside the Punjab and Haryana high court judgment awarding three years imprisonment to Sidhu treating it as ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’. The court acquitted him by imposing a fine of Rs 1,000.
Aggrieved by this order Jaswinder Singh, legal representative of the victim moved the court seeking review of the verdict. It was submitted that the judgment acquitting Sidhu had resulted in miscarriage of justice and that the punishment should be enhanced.
A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul after perusing the materials in the chamber issued notice and said it is restricted to quantum of sentence qua respondent no. 1 – Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sidhu had allegedly hit a 65-year-old man, Gurnam Singh, on the head during an argument in a road in Patiala on December 27, 1988. Gurnam Singh died in hospital of a haemorrhage. In 2007, the Supreme Court suspended Sidhu’s sentence and granted him bail after he appealed his conviction by the Punjab and Haryana high court. The suspended sentence enabled him to contest the Lok Sabha by polls from Amritsar.