‘I have been stabbed in the back’: Sidhu after Punjab govt opposed his acquittal in 1988 road rage case

The Punjab government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that Punjab and Haryana Court court that it supported the Court’s decision of convicting its tourism and culture minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 30-year-old road rage case, and that he should serve three years in jail as ordered by the court of law. As per reports, Navjot Singh Sidhu voiced his displeasure with his own government by saying that ‘I have been stabbed in the back’.

Mr Sidhu had allegedly hit a 65-year-old man, Gurnam Singh, on the head during an argument on a road in Patiala on  December 27, 1988. Gurnam Singh died in hospital of a haemorrhage.

The Trial Court had acquitted Sidhu, whereas the Punjab and Haryana High Court reversed his acquittal, convicting him under Section 304 Part II, IPC, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

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According to reports, on 1st December 2006, Navjot Singh Sidhu was convicted by a High Court division bench comprising Justices Mehtab Singh Gill and Baldev Singh. Sidhu had admitted to the crime at the time of occurrence and that he had no enmity with the deceased. Sidhu, he said, was named in the FIR.

After his conviction in 2006, the victim’s sons expressed his satisfaction with the Court’s decision. Jaswinder Singh, son of Gurnam Singh, had then said that he and members of his family, particularly his mother Bimaljit Kaur were satisfied with the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In 2007, the Supreme Court suspended Mr 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.

The Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab government had recently told the Supreme Court, “There is no evidence that the person in the road rage died because of a heart attack.” The Punjab govt effectively contradicted its own minister, Sidhu, who had argued in court that Gurnam Singh died of a heart attack.

The government also told the bench of Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Justice SK Kaul that Mr Sidhu’s statement denying his involvement in the incident was false.

Officials say the government had no choice but to oppose the minister in court. After arguing against Mr Sidhu in the High Court, it could not change its stand before the Supreme Court.

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