1998 road rage case: SC reserves plea seeking review order to let off Sidhu

Published on Mar 25, 2022 05:59 PM IST

Supreme Court in its order on May 15, 2018, had let Navjot Singh Sidhu off with a fine of ₹1,000.

Navjot Sidhu (HT File Photo)
Navjot Sidhu (HT File Photo)
By | Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Aryan Prakash

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved an order on a plea seeking to enlarge the scope of notice in the 1988 road rage case against Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, in which one person had died.

The victim's family had filed a plea in the apex court demanding punishment to the former Punjab Congress chief for a more serious offence such as culpable homicide, or even murder, than just causing hurt.

During a hearing on March 22, Sidhu had told the top court that “there is no conclusive evidence to show that the single fist blow led to the death of a 65-year-old man.” The Congress leader also accused the victim's family of making a ‘malicious attempt’ to get the case reopened.

“There is no conclusive evidence that the injury caused by the accused resulted in the death of the person, as there was no evidence whatsoever that the death was caused by the single blow by the answering respondent (even assuming the incident did take place), this honourable court rightly concluded that the same would fall under Section 323 IPC,” stated Sidhu’s affidavit filed before the court.

Read more: From road rage to relief: 30 years of Navjot Sidhu’s trial

Initially, Sidhu was tried for murder but the trial court in September 1999 had acquitted him. Later, the Punjab and Haryana High Court reversed the verdict and held him guilty of “culpable homicide not amounting to murder”, leading to a three-year prison sentence for Sidhu. But, the Supreme Court in its order on May 15, 2018, let him off with a fine of 1,000.

In the recently-held Punjab assembly elections, Sidhu had lost the Amritsar East seat to Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Jeevanjyot Kaur. The Congress suffered a humiliating loss in all the five states - Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, and Goa.

Sidhu quit as the Punjab Congress president after Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi sacked the party's chiefs in the five states after the loss. "As desired by the Congress President I have sent my resignation," he wrote on Twitter with a copy of his letter addressed to Sonia Gandhi.

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