Punjab govt seeks conviction of its own minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case

In a possible friction inducing move, the Amarinder Singh led Punjab government has reportedly sought the conviction of its own government minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case. Sidhu is currently the Minister of local government, tourism, cultural affairs and museums in the Punjab government.

As per an ANI report, the lawyer representing the Punjab government informed the Supreme Court that Sidhu’s statement denying involvement in the case was false:

Under this case, it has been alleged that Sidhu struck blows on an individual named Gurnam Singh in a road rage incident. One of Sidhu’s blows, unfortunately, struck Gurnam on the parietal region of his left head which caused subdural haemorrhage resulting in his death.

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A lower court had acquitted Sidhu in this matter while the High Court reversed it and awarded a three year suspended sentence, pending an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Media reports have claimed that the Supreme Court has been told by the Punjab government to uphold Sidhu’s conviction. Sidhu was earlier sentenced to three years in jail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Punjab government didn’t engage any senior counsel in this matter, instead of the advocate who appeared, informed the apex court that the High Court’s order was perfectly valid in convicting Sidhu for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

There’s incidentally another angle to the case that the complainants have sought the enhancement of Sidhu’s jail sentence by demanding that he be convicted of murder. Hence with the Punjab government affirming the past conviction of Sidhu, it negates Punjab government’s need to argue in favour of enhancing the punishment.

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