Road rage case: Navjot Sidhu goes on the back foot

Road rage case: Navjot Sidhu goes on the back foot

A day after the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 30-year-old road rage case, the minister tried to put on a courageous face, saying he was ready to carry "any burden" that he may have to because of his own government's stance, even as Opposition demanded his resignation. While there was no formal reaction from the Chief Minister's office, Nanda, who is in Bangkok, said, "The state could not have changed its stand in the FIR that was registered in a murder case".

The case dates back to December 1988 when the cricketer-turned-politician had allegedly beaten up 65-year-old Gurnam Singh, in a case of road rage.

The government said the trial court was wrong in its finding that Singh had died of cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage.

The Supreme Court is now hearing final arguments in the 30-year-old case.

The state government counsel told the apex court that the victim had died after he was given fist blow by Sidhu.

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The high court sentenced them to three-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts.

Sessions Court Judge of Patiala had on September 22, 1999, acquitted Sidhu and his associate, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, due to lack of evidence in the case.

To a question about a news channel quoting him saying that he was backstabbed by the Punjab government, Sidhu refused to comment. "The government is in a state of confusion", said Kaur. "Similarly, in this case also, he is happy to be seen with Sidhu rather than the poor family that has lost an innocent member at his hands", SAD alleged. The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the high court. The Punjab government counsel Sanram Singh Saron conveyed to the Supreme Court that there was no evidence to support the trial court's conclusion that the victim had died of cardiac arrest. Though the high court held Sidhu guilty awarding him a three year jail term, the Supreme Court suspended the sentence in 2007 which allowed him to contest elections.

Sidhu had challenged the High Court order of his conviction in the Apex Court which had granted him bail.

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