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1988 Patiala road rage case: Punjab govt asks SC to uphold Navjot Singh Sidhu's conviction

By Madhuri Adnal
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    The Punjab government on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to uphold cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu's conviction in 1988 Patiala road rage case. Lawyer appearing for the Punjab government told Supreme Court that the statement given by Sidhu denying his involvement in the case was false.

    Navjot Singh Sidhu in 1988 road rage case

    Thirty years after an elderly man died in a road rage case allegedly involving Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced hearing final arguments on his appeal challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict convicting him.

    Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu were initially tried for murder but the trial court in September 1999 acquitted the cricketer-turned politician. However, the High Court reversed the verdict and held him and co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for the death of Gurnam Singh in Patiala in 1988.

    The High Court sentenced them to three-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts. He was given bail in 2007 by the top court, which had also stayed his conviction to enable him contest the Lok Sabha bypoll from Amritsar that was caused by his resignation following the conviction.

    In his appeal filed in the top court in January 2007, Sidhu had contended that the High Court should not have reversed the trial court's order of acquittal without there being any compelling reasons and circumstances.

    According to the FIR in the case, Sidhu and Sandhu were allegedly present in a Gypsy parked near the Sheranwala Gate crossing on December 27, 1988m while Gurnam was on his way to a bank in a Maruti car with two others. As the deceased asked the Gypsy occupants to give them way, he was beaten up by the accusedm who fled the scene. Gurnam was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead.

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