Sidhu Lands in Fresh Trouble After Supreme Court Takes Up Review Petition in Road Rage Case Verdict

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The Supreme Court will review if Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu should face charges of a more serious nature in a 32-year-old road rage case. Sidhu has two weeks’ time to respond to a notice by the apex court.

The matter lands the Punjab Congress chief in fresh trouble after the victim’s family filed a review petition seeking punishment for an offense of more serious category than causing hurt leading to enhancement of punishment. Sidhu, meanwhile, has urged the SC not to punish him with a jail term.

In 1988, Sidhu was accused in a road rage case in which Gurnam Singh from Patiala had died. In May 2018, the SC let Sidhu off by imposing a fine of Rs 1,000. This was after the Punjab and Haryana High Court convicted him of voluntarily causing harm and sentenced him to three years in jail. The SC exonerated him, noting that the case was over 30 years old and that the accused did not use any weapon. Representing Gurnam Singh’s family, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra submitted that he had moved an application seeking enlargement of the scope of notice issued. Luthra contended before a bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice SK Kaul that a blow was delivered on the victim, and the death due to cardiac arrest is not correct.

The bench asked, “You are asking for a review, then you are also asking for a whole review of the judgment… You want us to re-appreciate the evidence?” The bench told Luthra that he could not keep expanding the scope of the notice. Representing Sidhu, senior advocate P Chidambaram contended that to review the judgment after four years in respect of the incident, which took place in 1988, especially if the notice has been restricted, and the scope of review should not be enlarged. Citing the apex court judgment, Chidambaram added that the court came to a conclusion after analyzing the evidence, and it is not a case where his client has caused the death of the deceased.

The bench clarified that notice was issued on circulation and not after hearing the parties. Chidambaram opposed any further examination of the evidence against his client, contending that the scope of the review petition is limited. The top court posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks. Review petition without merit: SidhuUrging the SC to not punish him further in the road rage case, Sidhu said the review petition was “without merit” and “ought to be dismissed”. Sidhu said he had always abided by court directions, and that he had an active life with an “impeccable record” as a parliamentarian, according to a report by the news agency.

He said the review must not be entertained in the case as he had worked for public welfare and made philanthropic contributions. He added that he had been a law-abiding citizen and ought not to be punished any further.

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