A Rupnagar special court on Monday sentenced former Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu to six-year rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs. 1.5 lakh on him in a bribery case registered against him in March 2002.
Sidhu, who was on bail, was immediately taken into custody and sent to the Rupnagar jail.It was alleged that Sidhu, who was the then PPSC chairman, had demanded bribe from excise and taxation inspector Bhupjit Singh for his selection as a PCS (executive) officer and the deal was struck at SAS Nagar for Rs. 35 lakh on March 24, 2002.
The vigilance bureau caught Sidhu on March 25 while he was accepting Rs. 5 lakh as advance in bribe at his Sector-39 house in Chandigarh. A case was registered at the vigilance bureau police station, SAS Nagar.
After the completion of the trial that took around 11 years, Rupnagar special judge KS Bajwa found him guilty and convicted him.
After hearing the pleas on the quantum of sentence, the court sentenced Sidhu to six years' rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs. 1 lakh on him under Section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The judge ordered that he would have to undergo further imprisonment of six months in case of defaulting on the payment of fine.
The court also sentenced him to imprisonment of four years and imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The court ordered that Sidhu would have to undergo further imprisonment of three months in case of defaulting on the payment of fine. Both sentences will run concurrently.
Sidhu refused to comment on the development.He is also facing trial in another case registered against him for accumulating assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, in the Rupnagar court.
Both these cases were earlier transferred to the SAS Nagar court from the Rupnagar court after SAS Nagar became a district. However, the cases were again transferred to Rupnagar after some time.
Sidhu was a journalist with a national daily when he was appointed as the PPSC chairman by the then Congress government headed by Harcharan Singh Brar.