India’s Supreme Court Tuesday held Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu guilty of causing injuries to a person in a 30-year-old road rage case and imposed a fine on him in the case, sparing him from jail term, officials said.
“Navjot Singh Sidhu has been acquitted in the section culpable homicide not amounting to murder and convicted under another section punishment for voluntarily causing hurt in a road rage case dating back to 1988,” an official said.
The cricketer-turned-politician has been spared from going to jail and thus will retain his portfolio in the local government of Punjab. As per Indian law, Representation of the People Act, a person is to be disqualified only if he is sentenced to a jail term of two years or more. Sidhu had appealed in the top court challenging the Punjab and Haryana high court order convicting him. On Dec. 27, 1988, Sidhu hit a 65-year-old man, Gurnam Singh, on the head during an argument on a road in Patiala district of Punjab. Singh died of a haemorrhage at the hospital.
A trial court had discharged Sidhu, but the state’s high court reversed it and held him guilty of culpable homicide in 2006 and sentenced him for three years in jail. However, in 2007, the Supreme Court suspended Sidhu’s sentence and granted him bail after he appealed in the top court.