Monday, 20 August, 2018

Amarinder defends government stand in road rage case against Navjot Singh Sidhu

Road rage case Navjot Sidhu goes on the back foot Amarinder defends government stand in road rage case against Navjot Singh Sidhu
Melissa Porter | 14 April, 2018, 11:36

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur said on Friday that Punjab government's hypocrisy has been exposed in regard to 1988 road rage case, wherein Punjab Congress leader and minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is prime accused. While there was no formal reaction from the Chief Minister's office, Nanda, who is in Bangkok, said, "The state could not have changed its stand in the FIR that was registered in a murder case".

According to the prosecution, the case involving Sidhu is 30 years old.

Notably, the Punjab Government, a day before, opposed Sidhu's plea for acquittal in the 1988 road rage case while asking the Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul in the Supreme Court that there was no error in the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict convicting him in the case and awarding a three-year jail term.

"Whatever the Punjab government said (in court), its explanation can be given by the chief minister", he said.

The high court sentenced them to three-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts. The state government took a clear stand against Sidhu by declaring that his statement to the court was false.

"Even in the Assembly, Khaira acted as more loyal than the King and came to the help of the Congress government whenever we cornered it on issues of public interest". The incumbent Punjab minister appeared disappointed, but chose not to react on the government's stand that he be punished in the 1988 road rage case. "Government is in a state of confusion". The Punjab government counsel Sanram Singh Saron conveyed to the Supreme Court that there was no evidence to support the trial court's conclusion that the victim had died of cardiac arrest.

Singh was beaten up by Sidhu and later fled the crime scene. The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the high court.

Concluding his arguments, Saron had said the trial court was wrong in its finding the man died of cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage.

However, the High Court reversed the verdict and held him and co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December, 2006. In 2007, the apex court stayed their conviction.