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

Hindustan Times, Patiala | By
May 16, 2018 10:03 AM IST

Navjot Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu beat up Gurnam Singh in a road rage over car parking. Gurnam taken to a hospital where he is declared dead. Sidhu and friend booked in FIR for culpable homicide.

In a relief for Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Supreme Court on Tuesday acquitted him of culpable homicide and convicted him of the lesser charge, of causing hurt, in a 1988 road rage case in which one person died. Here is a timeline of how things unfolded after an incident that took place 30 years ago:

Navjot Sidhu
Navjot Sidhu

Dec 27, 1988: Navjot Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu allegedly beat up Gurnam Singh over right of way for his car. Gurnam taken to a hospital where he is declared dead. Sidhu and friend booked.

Sept , 1999: Patiala district and sessions court acquits Navjot Singh Sidhu and others of murder charges, citing lack of evidence.

2002: Punjab government files appeal against acquittal.

Dec 1, 2006: Punjab and Haryana high court finds Sidhu and Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide (not amounting to murder) and awards a three-year prison sentence. Sidhu resigns as BJP MP from Amritsar.

January 11, 2007: Sidhu surrenders in court.

January 12, 2007: Arun Jaitley, a senior BJP leader, appears as Sidhu’s lawyer in SC, which stays the conviction; Sidhu and friend released on bail.

Sidhu wins bypoll to become Amritsar MP for the second time on BJP ticket. The complainant then approaches Supreme Court against Sidhu.

Dec 2017-Mar 2018: Sidhu quits BJP and joins Congress; wins assembly election, becomes a minister in Punjab’s Congress government.

Apr 12, 2018: During hearing of the appeal, Punjab government seeks Sidhu’s conviction in the Supreme Court.

May 15, 2018: Sidhu acquitted of charges of culpable homicide, but fined 1,000 for causing hurt to Gurdev Singh. Sandhu acquitted.


    A special correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

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