Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is in the dock again for the road rage case in which a man died 20 years ago. Sidhu was sentenced in the case 4 months ago with a nominal fine of Rs 1,000. However, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sent him a notice asking him to show cause on why he should not receive harsher punishment.
The Supreme Court sent the notice while hearing a petition filed by the family of the man who died. As per the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the punishment in such cases is a fine and/or a one-year jail term.
“The issue notice is restricted to the quantum of sentence qua respondent no. 1 – Navjot Singh Sidhu,” the two-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul was quoted by NDTV as saying.
In May, retired Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul sentenced the Congress leader with a fine. The order enabled the cricketer-turned-politician to continue as a minister in the Punjab government.
Conviction in a criminal case, if less than 2 years, does not prohibit any anyone from contesting elections.
WHAT IS THE CASE?
On December 27, 1998 Sidhu along with his friend, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, entered into an argument with the victim Gurnam Singh over parking space in Patiala. The 2 then allegedly dragged Gurman out of his car and beat him. He died soon after.
A trial court had discharged Sidhu but the Punjab and Haryana High Court held him guilty of culpable homicide in 2006 and sent him to jail for three years in the road rage case.
Then Sidhu and his friend approached the Supreme Court and in 2007 the Supreme Court suspended Sidhu’s sentence. Now in May, a bench headed by Justices Chalemeswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul let the two off with a fine of Rs. 1,000.