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Punjab’s Congress Govt Asks SC to Uphold Conviction of Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu

Party leaders said the Congress government won't shield its ministers or MLAs like Yogi Adityanath government in UP.

Updated:April 12, 2018, 8:11 PM IST
Punjab’s Congress Govt Asks SC to Uphold Conviction of Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu
File photo of Navjot Singh Sidhu. (Reuters)
New Delhi: The Punjab government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that its own minister Navjot Singh Sidhu should serve three years in jail in a 30-year-old road rage case as ordered by the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Sidhu had hit Gurnam Singh, 65, on the head during an argument on a road in Patiala on December 27, 1988. Singh had died in hospital of a haemorrhage.

The high court had held Sidhu guilty and sentenced him to three years in jail in 2006, but the Supreme Court had suspended the sentence a year later and granted him bail, allowing him to contest elections.

The Congress government in Punjab asked the Supreme Court to uphold Sidhu's conviction and set aside the bail, saying that the HC verdict was correct.

Counsel for Punjab government told a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul that Gurnam Singh had died of brain hemorrhage, and not cardiac arrest, after being struck by Sidhu.

“There is not a single evidence that suggest that the cause of death was cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage. The trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the High Court. Sidhu had given a fiesty blow to deceased Gurnam Singh leading to his death through brain hemorrhage," the state government counsel told the bench.

Punjab Congress leaders backed the counsel’s stand, saying that the state prosecution had taken this position in the Punjab & Haryana High Court and could not back out now.

“The state government followed the rule of the law in the Supreme Court and has left the apex court to judge the matter on merit,” a party leader said.

Drawing a contrast to UP, where the Yogi Adityanath government is facing accusations of shielding MLA Kuldeep Singh in a rape case, he said that the Congress government has upheld the law of the land in this case, as it has done in every case since taking charge in Punjab.

“Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has always maintained that his government will strictly uphold the law and will not interfere in judicial matters. The same principle was stringently adhered to, in the present case,” he said.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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