Punjab seeks Sidhu’s conviction
New Delhi, April 12
The Punjab Government on Thursday sought the conviction of its Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in the 1988 road rage case in which a man had died, allegedly after being beaten up by the cricketer-turned-politician and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu.“The trial court’s verdict was unreasonable and was rightly reversed by the (Punjab and Haryana) High Court which convicted the accused,” Punjab Government’s counsel Sangram Singh Saron told a Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.Saron took the Bench to the statements of witnesses who supported the prosecution case. “Two eyewitnesses have fully supported the prosecution case. Even the narration of the site plan of the scene of crime in their testimony is identical to the site plan prepared by police,” Saron said.He said the testimony of Investigating Officer SI Kaka Singh, too, clearly established the prosecution case and minor omissions could not be held in favour of the accused.Saron finished his arguments in 105 minutes. Sidhu and Sandhu were initially tried for murder but the trial court in 1999 acquitted Sidhu. The HC reversed the verdict and held him and co-accused Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for Gurnam Singh’s death. They were sentenced to three years in prison and fined Rs 1 lakh each. Sidhu was given bail in 2007 by the Supreme Court, which had also stayed his conviction to enable him contest the Lok Sabha bypoll from Amritsar.