New Delhi, July 20: Navjot Singh Sidhu may have bailed out of the BJP in a hurry, but an old case of homicide -- from 1988, when Sidhu was a 25-year-old hot-blooded Indian cricket star -- may come back to haunt him as he makes his rumoured bid to become the Aam Aadmi Party's chief ministerial candidate in Punjab, which is due for elections next year.
His political opponents, and now that may include the BJP, are exploring legal options to resurrect the case, which is pending before the Supreme Court since 2007.
On December 27, 1988, Gurnam Singh and two others were heading back from a wedding in Patiala. At the Shernawala Gate Crossing, they found a Maruti Gypsy blocking the road. When they asked the occupants to move the vehicle and make way, Sidhu is alleged to have assaulted Gurnam Singh and sped away.
Gurnam Singh was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead. Sidhu was booked for murder. Sidhu and co-accused Rupinder Singh were acquitted by the trial court but in 2006, the Punjab and Haryana High Court reversed that verdict and sentenced both to three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh each.
Sidhu then approached the Supreme Court, which in January 2007 suspended the verdict of the High Court. The matter is pending since then.
Interestingly, BJP leader Arun Jaitley had fought Sidhu's case, and Sidhu was a BJP Lok Sabha MP from 2004 to 2014. Earlier this year, the BJP nominated him to the Rajya Sabha, which he quit within three months.
Now, Gurnam Singh's family is waiting for the case to be listed in the Supreme Court, and Sidhu's opponents are trying to speed up the process. If the Supreme Court upholds the High Court verdict, it could well be the end of the 52-year-old Sidhu's political career.