Patiala, Punjab: Cricket-turned-politician and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is set to be released from Punjab's Patiala jail today, approximately 10 months after he was sentenced to one-year jail by the Supreme Court in a three-decade-old road rage case, which led to the death of a person.
On May 19, last year, Sidhu was sentenced to one year of imprisonment by the Supreme Court in the 1988 case of road rage in which Sidhu allegedly thrashed one Gurnam Singh, who later died in hospital.
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"A few formalities are being done right now. He should be out of jail in an hour from now," Karan Sidhu, son of Sidhu who waited for his father outside Patiala jail.
Congress workers were seen with dhols outside the jail to welcome the cricketer-turned-politician.
No objection from state government
On Friday, Punjab Minister Brahm Shankar Jimpa said that the Punjab government has no objection to the release of Sidhu.
"The issue of the release of prisoners whose sentence has been completed is approved by the cabinet. Those who have completed their sentence will be released," Jimpa said.
The Supreme Court allowed the review application on the issue of sentence against Sidhu, saying, "We have allowed review application on the issue of sentence. In addition to the fine imposed, we impose a sentence of imprisonment of one year to be undergone by respondent Sidhu."
The order was delivered by a bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
Earlier, the court had reserved the review petition in the case filed by the family of the victim which sought to enlarge the scope of notice in the review petition against Sidhu.
Sidhu, however, opposed plea by the victim's family citing an order of the apex court, which held that there was no evidence that the death of the victim was caused by a single blow in the road rage case. Sidhu submitted that the application was devoid of any merits and ought to be dismissed.
The case has gone through Session Court, High court and Supreme Court.
Acquitted of culpable homicide
The former MP was acquitted in connection with the culpable homicide charges but was convicted of the offence of voluntarily causing hurt. The court had slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on Sidhu. The court had also acquitted Sidhu's associate, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, in the case.The Sessions Court Judge of Patiala had on September 22, 1999, acquitted Sidhu and his associate, due to a lack of evidence in the case and giving the benefit of the doubt.
The verdict was then challenged by the victim's families before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had in 2006, convicted and sentenced Sidhu to three years imprisonment. Sidhu subsequently filed an appeal before the apex court challenging this order.
The case dates back to December 27, 1988 when Sidhu beat Gurnam Singh and during treatment, he died in the hospital.