In a minor relief to Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 1988 road rage case which claimed a life, the Supreme Court has reversed the order of Chandigarh High Court that awarded 3-yr-jail term and a fine of Rs 1 Lakh to Sidhu. Sidhu was convicted under section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and acquitted under section 304 (II)(culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in 1988 road rage case by Supreme Court.
During the arguments in the Supreme court, senior advocate R S Cheema, representing Sidhu, had questioned the evidence brought on record regarding the cause of death of the victim and had also referred to the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
As per the prosecution, Sidhu and Sandhu were allegedly in a Gypsy parked on the middle of a road near the Sheranwala Gate Crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988, when the victim and two others were on their way to the bank to withdraw money. It was alleged that when they had reached the crossing, Gurnam Singh, driving a Maruti car, found the Gypsy in the middle of the road and asked the occupants, Sidhu and Sandhu, to remove it. This led to heated argument.
Victim Gurnam Singh was allegedly beaten up by Sidhu who later fled the crime scene. The victim was later taken to a hospital where he was declared dead.
Sidhu was acquitted of the murder charges by the trial court in September 1999. But, the high court had reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December, 2006. It had sentenced them to three-year jail and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each on the convicts.