SC Order: One Year Jail To Navjot Singh Sidhu In 1987 Road Rage Case

Challenging the 2018 verdict in the 1987 road rage case, which reduced Sidhu’s punishment, the victim’s family filed review petitions. The bench of Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul pronounced the verdict today. The Supreme Court has enhanced the sentence of former PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu to one year imprisonment in a 1987 road rage accident in which one person named Gurnam Singh had died. The Court allowed the review petition preferred by the family of victim Gurnam Singh against its 2018 verdict that had reduced the sentence of Navjot Singh Sidhu to Rs 1000 from 3 years imprisonment in a 1987 road rage accident in which Gurnam Singh had died.

In May 2018, a division bench comprising Justice J Chelameshwar (since retired) and Justice SK Kaul had held that the offence of Sidhu will not amount to “culpable offence not amounting to murder” punishable under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code and instead found him guilty for the offence of “voluntarily causing hurt” under Section 323 IPC.

The Supreme Court had on September 12, 2018 agreed to consider a petition seeking review of its May 15, 2018 order imposing a fine of Rs 1,000 on Sidhu in the case.

A Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice SK Kaul—which had earlier issued notice to Sidhu “restricted to quantum of sentence”—will reconsider the amount of punishment given to him. Sidhu and his friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu were initially tried for murder, but the trial court in September 1999 acquitted him. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court reversed the verdict and held them guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and gave him a three-year imprisonment.

“The material on record leads us to the only possible conclusion that we can reach that the first accused voluntarily caused hurt to Gurnam Singh punishable under Section 323 IPC”, said Justice Chelameswar in the Judgment. In 2006, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had convicted him under Section 304-II IPC and sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment. Sidhu will be taken into custody by Punjab police as per the order. Sidhu was earlier let off with a fine of Rs 1,000. Now, the maximum possible punishment under Section 323 of the IPC has been awarded to Sidhu.

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