The Supreme Court, on Thursday, sentenced Navjot Singh Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment in connection with a 1988 road-rage case, saying any undue sympathy to impose an inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court had held Sidhu guilty of the offence of ‘voluntarily causing hurt’ to a 65-year-old man in the case, however, he was spared a jail term and was imposed a fine of Rs 1,000.
The court enhanced the sentence of Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment in the road rage incident.
According to the prosecution, in December 1988, Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Sandhu were in a vehicle and had an altercation with Gurnam Singh after the latter asked them to give way. Police claimed that Singh was beaten up by Sidhu, who later fled the scene.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead, the police said.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and SK Kaul allowed a review plea filed by the victim’s family on the issue of the sentence awarded to Sidhu.
‘We feel there is an error apparent on the face of record… Therefore, we have allowed the review application on the issue of sentence. In addition to the fine imposed, we consider it appropriate to impose a sentence of imprisonment for a period of one year,’ the bench said while pronouncing the verdict.
After the court’s verdict on Thursday, Sidhu took to Twitter to say he ‘will submit to the majesty of the law.’
Sidhu on Friday requested the Supreme Court to grant him a few weeks’ time to surrender. The former Punjab Congress chief was represented by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who said that Sidhu needs some time to organize his medical issues.
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