Congress leader and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday was sentenced by the Indian Supreme Court to one year in jail in a 34-year-old road rage case, NDTV reported.
The cricketer-turned-politician must surrender and serve a year’s “rigorous imprisonment”, the court said.
“Will submit to the majesty of law…,” tweeted the former Punjab Congress chief, 58, who had participated in a protest on fuel prices this morning.
Will submit to the majesty of law ….
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) May 19, 2022
The report stated that the court gave its ruling on a petition filed by the family of a man who died after a brawl with Sidhu and his friend in 1988.
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It said that the family had asked for graver charges against the former cricketer and a review of a 2018 order of the Supreme Court acquitting him of murder charges and imposing an INR1,000 fine.
On December 27, 1988, Sidhu got into an argument with Gurnam Singh, a resident of Patiala, over a parking spot. Sidhu and his friend, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, allegedly dragged Gurnam Singh out of his car and hit him. He later died in hospital.
In 1999, a sessions court in Patiala acquitted Sidhu citing a lack of evidence and giving him the benefit of the doubt.
On a petition challenging this verdict, the Punjab and Haryana High court convicted Sidhu in 2006 of culpable homicide and sentenced him to three years in jail.
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In 2018, according to the report, Sidhu approached the Supreme Court, which said the case was over 30 years old and the former cricketer had not used a weapon. Sidhu was only held guilty of assaulting a senior citizen and spared a jail term.
The Supreme Court also acquitted Sidhu’s friend of all charges, saying there was no proper evidence he was present at the site.
The family of the victim requested the Supreme Court to review its order and consider tougher charges. Sidhu challenged the family’s petition and ended up with a jail sentence.
For over three decades, the case has dogged Sidhu, who recently quit as Punjab Congress chief after his party’s defeat in state elections.