Sidhu puts on courageous face after Punjab govt backs his conviction

Kenny Tucker
April 14, 2018

The Punjab government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it was the right decision to blame state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for road rage by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A party leader backed the counsel's stand and said Congress government will not shield its ministers or MLAs like Yogi Adityanath government in UP. Sidhu may have left the saffron brigade and joined the Congress, but this did not deter the Congress-led Punjab Government from sticking to its stand on his alleged involvement in the road rage case, which resulted in the death of a person.

"Though the government could not have taken any other stand in the apex court, other than what it had been taken in the trial and high court earlier, Sidhu deserved the courts consideration", Singh said, adding "Had we done so, we would have been accused of lying either now or earlier".

The Supreme Court is now hearing final arguments in the 30-year-old case.

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Notably, the Punjab Government, a day before, opposed Sidhu's plea for acquittal in the 1988 road rage case while asking the Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul in the Supreme Court that there was no error in the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict convicting him in the case and awarding a three-year jail term. The state government took a clear stand against Sidhu by declaring that his statement to the court was false.

Meanwhile, opposition parties including the Akali Dal and the BJP asked Sidhu to resign on moral grounds. "Government is in a state of confusion and so the CM isn't going to the office". The man received injuries to his head, and subsequently died of brain hemorrhage.

A trial court in Patiala acquitted Sidhu and Sandhu, but in 2006 the HC reserved the finding and declared them guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, sentencing them for three years in jail. The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the High Court.

In 2007, Sidhu appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court which suspended his sentence and consequently, enabled him to contest the Lok Sabha bypolls from Amritsar. There is not a single evidence that suggests that the cause of death was a cardiac arrest and not brain haemorrhage.

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