New Delhi: The Supreme Court begins the final argument in the 1988 road rage case against Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2006 verdict convicted him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, he made his submissions against the high court verdict.
After eleven years the HC verdict was challenged in the Supreme Court Senior advocate RS Cheema opened Sidhu’s defence in the 30-year old road rage case . He questioned the finding that the victim died after Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu beat him up. He submitted before a bench of justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul that the victim, Gurnam Singh, died due to cardiac arrest.
In his arguments, Cheema placed reliance on medical journals to establish his point that an autopsy report can never attribute a natural death to cardiac arrest. To support his claim, he read out portions of Modi’s medical journal and argued that the victim’s heart was weak and he died due to an attack. The senior advocate will elaborate on his arguments on Wednesday.
Cheema contested the prosecution case that Singh succumbed to the injuries received in the assault. According to the FIR on December 27, 1988 Sidhu and Sandhu were reportedly present in a Gypsy SUV parked near Sheranwala Gate Crossing. Singh who was in a Maruti car and on way, to a bank along with two other persons asked the occupants to give him way following which Sidhu allegedly dragged Singh out and punched him. Sandhu reportedly took the keys of Singh’s car and attacked his friends before speeding away with Sidhu. Singh was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.
At first Sidhu and his friend Sandhu were tried for murder (Section 302, IPC) and were acquitted by the Patiala sessions court in 1999. The Punjab government challenged the verdict in the HC, which convicted the two in 2006 of culpable homicide not amounting to murder with three years of jail term. The verdict led to the resignation of Sidhu from the Lok Sabha.
In January 2007, Sidhu moved the top court, which stayed both his conviction and sentence. He was granted bail to enable him contest bypolls to the Amritsar Lok Sabha.