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HT FAQ on Sidhu Case

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on December 1, 2006, found Sidhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for causing the death of 65-year-old Patiala resident Gurnam Singh on December 27, 1988.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 00:24 IST

On what charges was Navjot Singh Sidhu convicted?

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on December 1, 2006, found Sidhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for causing the death of 65-year-old Patiala resident Gurnam Singh on December 27, 1988.

A division bench headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill overruled the September 22, 1999, order of the Patiala Sessions Court that acquitted him and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu.

What was the punishment awarded to Sidhu and Sandhu?

Both got three years’ rigorous imprisonment on charges under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code and a fine of Rs one lakh each.

Who moved the HC against the lower court’s order?

The Punjab government as well as the son of the deceased had challenged the order on the ground that it was perverse and unreasonable.

How did Gurnam die?

According to the prosecution, Sidhu and Sandhu had a heated argument with Gurnam over parking near the head office of the State Bank of Patiala where Sidhu was employed. Sidhu dragged Gurnam out of the car and beat him up. When Gurnam’s companion Jaswinder Singh tried to intervene, Sandhu beat him up. Jaswant took the injured Gurnam to hospital where he was declared dead.

Why did the HC set aside lower court’s order?

The HC felt that the case fell within the parameters of Section 304 Part II. It also refused to accept Sidhu’s contention that he reached the spot after the incident and was being framed.

On what ground Sidhu challenged the HC verdict in the SC?

He contended in his Special Leave Petition that the incident took place 18 years ago and the High Court could not have reversed the trial court’s order of acquittal without there being any compelling circumstances. He further contended that the forensic report did not confirm that the death occurred due to the injury caused by him.

What is the lastest SC order?

The SC on Friday stayed his sentence and orderd his release on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patiala.

Can Sidhu contest the Amritsar Lok Sabha by-election now?

No. According to the latest SC ruling, mere stay of sentence is not sufficient to enable a person sentenced to a sentence of over two years to contest elections. Stay of conviction too is needed to remove the disqualification at this juncture and the person seeking such a relief has to specifically state the ground on which he/she wants the judicial favour.

What next?

The SC will hear his plea for stay of conviction on January 17 and his immediate political future will depend on the outcome of the next round of the proceedings.

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