Chandigarh, May 15: The Supreme Court has convicted former Cricketer and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt in a 1988 road rage case with a fine of Rs 1000 and no jail term.
The Court has, thus, set aside the judgment of Punjab & Haryana High Court that held him guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The other accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu has been acquitted.
This judgment was delivered by a Division Bench comprising Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul a month after it was reserved on April 18 this year.
Senior Advocate RS Cheema along with Advocates Tarunnum Cheema, Hiral Gupta, and Smrithi Suresh appeared for Sidhu while Senior Advocate R Basant along with Advocate Karthik Ashok appeared for Sandhu.
The Appellants, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and Rupinder Singh Sandhu were convicted by Punjab and Haryana High Court and awarded three years imprisonment and a fine of Rupees one lakh each in the road rage case which dates back to 1988.
Both the accused-appellants were charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder for the death of one Gurnam Singh. The case of the prosecution was that in December 1988, the victim and the appellants got into a heated exchange over a vehicle belonging to the appellants which was allegedly parked in the middle of the road. This exchange, according to the prosecution led to a physical assault by the appellants on the victim who was pronounced dead when he was taken to the hospital. It was claimed by the prosecution that Sidhu had even fled the scene of the crime.
The Trial Court had acquitted the appellants in 1999 on the grounds that the death of the victim was caused due to cardiac arrest and not due to the injuries sustained in the assault. This acquittal, however, was set aside by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2006, which found the appellants guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
In 2007, the Supreme Court had stayed Sidhu’s conviction and had granted him bail.