The Supreme Court on Tuesday acquitted Navjot Singh Sidhu of the culpable homicide charge in the 1988 road rage case. The cricketer turn politician will remain an MLA and minister. He has been acquitted under section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and convicted under section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt). After Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government sought Sidhu’s conviction in the 1988 road rage case, on April 12, Navjot Singh Sidhu had said that he would submit to the majesty of the law.
Last month, Punjab government urged the Supreme Court to confirm the conviction of its own minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in a road rage case that he was involved in 1988 and sentence him to 3 years in prison. However, defending his government’s stance in Supreme Court, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said they had no legal option available. Soon after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict, Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu expressed its happiness and said, “I want to thank the people of Punjab, because of their prayers I have come out ten feet tall. I have sent a message to Rahul Gandhi ji and Priyanka Gandhi ji that my life is yours.”
On December 27, 1988, Sidhu got into an altercation with a 65-year-old man named Gurnam Singh and allegedly hit him on the head leading to a serious injury, resulting in the latter`s death.
The Congress government in Punjab statements came after a local court reversed the judgement of a trial court, which had earlier discharged the Punjab minister, and sentenced him to serve three years in jail. Sidhu is currently out on bail in the 1988 road rage case.
During the last hearing in the Supreme Court, the Punjab government said, “There is no evidence that the person in the road rage died because of a heart attack. There is not a single evidence that suggests that the cause of death was a cardiac arrest and not brain haemorrhage. The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the high court. Accused A1 (Navjot Singh Sidhu) had given a feisty blow to deceased Gurnam Singh leading to his death through brain haemorrhage.”