In a major relief for former Indian cricketer, current Punjab cabinet minister and a multi-personality, Navjot Singh Sidhu as the Supreme Court (SC) acquitted him of culpable homicide and alleged him of causing hurt in a 1988 road rage case in which one person had died.

After 30 years of battling for justice, good time have arrived for Navjot Singh Sidhu. Describing the road rage case, Sidhu had hit a 65-year-old man named Gurnam Singh on the head in 1988 during an argument regarding the parking of a car and the hurt person later died in the hospital. Speaking against the allegation of murder in this case, Sidhu said Singh died of a cardiac arrest and not because he was hit in the head by him. The trial court acquitted Sidhu of the murder charges in September 1999.

But thereafter, the Punjab High Court changed the judgment and held Sidhu as well as his co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu guilty in this matter of culpable homicide but not amounting to murder in December 2006. Punjab high court sentenced them to three years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on both of them. It was then that both Sidhu as well as Sandhu filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which supported their conviction in 2007 allowing Sidhu to stand in the by-poll elections for Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. As per the Representation of the People Act, any person convicted of an offence or crime and punished for a term of two or more years is immediately disqualified as a lawmaker.

However on Tuesday hearing of the apex court, it acquitted him of culpable homicide and alleged him of causing hurt in a 1988 road rage case in which one person had died. The SC imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on Sidhu and barred him from a jail term. The veteran Cricketer and present Congress politician was found offensive under Section 323 (causing hurt) of the India Penal Code, under which he could have faced up to a year in jail or a fine or both. After hearing the verdict Sidhu thanked the people of Punjab. Media quoted him saying that, “I want to thank the people of Punjab, because of their prayers I have come out ten feet tall. I have sent a message to Rahul Gandhi ji & Priyanka Gandhi ji that my life is yours.”

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