April 26, 2018

Amarinder defends govt stand in road rage case against Sidhu

14 April 2018, 11:37 | Lena Norman

Sidhu's conviction by HC correct, Punjab tells SC

Navjot Singh Sidhu should be sent to jail: Punjab government tells Supreme Court

A day after the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 30-year-old road rage case, the minister tried to put on a courageous face, saying he was ready to carry "any burden" that he may have to because of his own government's stance, even as Opposition demanded his resignation.

Asked if he was surprised by the government's stand, Mr Sidhu said, "I don't have any reactions".

Sidhu, now the Local Bodies and Tourism Minister in the Amarinder Singh government, was acquitted along with co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu by the trial court in September 1999.

The Supreme Court is now hearing final arguments in the 30-year-old case.

Counsel, appearing for the Punjab government, Sangram Singh Saron, submitted to the apex court that the statement given by Sidhu denying his involvement in the case was false.

The Tourism, Culture and Local Government minister on Friday said the "explanation" for the state government's stand in the Supreme Court can be given by the chief minister.

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"Whatever the Punjab government said (in court), its explanation can be given by the chief minister", he said.

A trial court had acquitted Sidhu, saying that the man had died following a heart attack.

Accusing the Congress government of playing a fixed match with Sidhu, the SAD demanded that the government must stop shielding the murder convict sitting amidst them in cabinet meetings.

The hearing will be continued on April 17, 2018 when Sidhu's counsel senior advocate R S Cheema will give the rebuttal to state government's argument.

Singh was beaten up by Sidhu and later fled the crime scene.

"It is beyond understanding how the trial court arrived at its finding that Gurnam Singh had died of cardiac arrest, when there was not a discussion or evidence about it. Doctors in cross-examination have said the cause of death was head injury", he said. The cricketer-turned-minister had approached Sc challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court's order that convicted him and sentenced him and co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu to three years in jail. It sentenced him to jail for three years.

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