SC sentences Sidhu to 1-yr-jail: Cong MLA expresses satisfaction; AAP, SAD hail verdict
Chandigarh, May 19: Punjab Congress leader Rana Gurjeet Singh on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court imposing a one-year jail term on former state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case, joining the ranks of AAP and SAD leaders who hailed the verdict.
The Supreme Court on Thursday enhanced the sentence of Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment in the incident in which a 65-year-old man had died. Singh, the Congress MLA from Kapurthala, said the apex court’s order has to be respected by everyone and advised Sidhu to do self introspection while stressing that the verdict was not a setback for the Congress.
Last year, Singh had accused Sidhu of trying to create divisions within the party and questioning the loyalty of “true and traditional Congressmen”. During the state assembly elections, Sidhu had backed the candidature of Navtej Singh Cheema for the party ticket from Sultanpur Lodhi, however, Singh's son -- Rana Inder Partap Singh -- won as an Independent from the seat.
Congress MLA and former minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa too did not see the verdict as a setback for the party and said that the victim's family got justice in the matter. However, Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said he was extremely saddened by the sentence awarded to Sidhu. “I'm extremely saddened by the sentence awarded to @sherryontopp although like he said one has to submit to the majesty of law but there are tens and thousands of actual lawbreakers & corrupt politicians and powerful bureaucrats who continue to Scott free,” said Khaira in a tweet.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, while reacting to the SC verdict, said the victim's family had been waiting for justice and “today the SC has done justice”. Aam Aadmi Party chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said being a law abiding citizen, Sidhu must accept the SC verdict.
With this verdict, the trust of the victim's family in the judicial system has also strengthened, he further said. AAP MLA Jeevan Jyot Kaur, who had defeated Sidhu from the Amritsar East assembly seat, said the victim's family has got justice in the matter. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and S K Kaul on Thursday allowed the review plea filed by the victim's family on the issue of the sentence awarded to Sidhu.
Though the apex court had in May 2018 held Sidhu guilty of the offence of "voluntarily causing hurt" to the victim in the case, it spared him a jail term and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000. "...we feel there is an error apparent on the face of record... therefore, we have allowed the review application on the issue of sentence. In addition to the fine imposed, we consider it appropriate to impose a sentence of imprisonment for a period of one year...," the bench said while pronouncing the verdict. PTI