Navjot Singh Sidhu is a relieved man. The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, acquitted the Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer of culpable homicide and convicted him, instead, of causing hurt in a 1988 road rage case. A case that had lead to the death of one Gurnam Singh. So now that Sidhu has been convicted does he lose his place in the cabinet?
Well, looks like Sidhu will retain his cabinet berth. While the Representation of the People Act says that any person convicted of an offense or crime and punished for two or more years is disqualified immediately. The Supreme court, though, fined Sidhu Rs 1,000 and did not give him a jail term.
Sidhu, who joined the Indian National Congress in 2017, was convicted under Section 323 (causing hurt) of the India Penal Code. He faced up to a year in jail or a fine or both. The former cricketer and television personality was full of gratitude for the people of Punjab. “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,” said Sidhu.
The tourism minister in the Amarinder Singh government, Sidhu had hit Gurnam Singh (65) on the head during an argument over the parking of a car in December 1988. Singh later died in a hospital. While the Sidhu was acquitted of murder charges by a trial court in 1999, the Punjab high court reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December 2006.
Sandhu was also was acquitted by the Supreme Court.