New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on a plea filed by Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu against a three-year jail term awarded to him in a 30-year-old road rage case.
A bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul reserved the judgment after hearing arguments from counsels of the Punjab government and Sidhu and his cousin.
The incident dates to December 27, 1988, when Sidhu and his cousin had beaten up Gurnam Singh and two other in what was described as a road rage case. Singh later died.
On April 12, the state government supported the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court convicting the minister. It told the apex court that 65-year-old victim had died after a fist blow from the cricketer-turned-politician.
The state said there was no evidence at all to suggest that Singh died of a cardiac arrest and not a brain haemorrhage. In 1999, the trial court in Patiala had acquitted Sidhu and his cousin saying the medical report stated the death was due to a heart attack.
The High Court in December 2006 had overturned the lower court’s decision.
It said Singh did not die of cardiac arrest but due to the injury on his temporal lobe. Sidhu was awarded three years in jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The apex court in 2007 had stayed the conviction after counsel appearing for Sidhu had contended that the findings of the High Court were based on opinion and not on medical evidence.
Sidhu’s lawyer argued that there were deficiencies in the medical evidence and the prosecution witnesses had given different statements on oath before the trial court.