Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career hinges on SC verdict as hearing begins in three-decade old culpable homicide case

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The cricketer-turned-politician was pronounced guilty for culpable homicide by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2006 but the Supreme Court had stayed the conviction and suspended the sentence

The Hush Post: The Supreme Court has begun hearing the final arguments in the three-decade old culpable homicide case against Congress leader and Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. While Sidhu is trying hard to emerge as a prominent face in Punjab politics, it could draw curtains for his political career if the apex court rules otherwise.

The cricketer-turned-politician was pronounced guilty for culpable homicide by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2006. A friend of his was also convicted in the case. Both were sentenced to imprisonment of 3 years each. The Supreme Court, however, stayed the conviction and suspended the sentence in January 2007 after Sidhu appealed against the verdict.

The bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay K Kaul started hearing the arguments on Tuesday. Senior advocate RS Cheema argued on behalf of Sidhu while senior lawyer R Basalt appeared for co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu.

The case dates back to 27 December, 1988 when Sidhu and Sandhu had gone to Sherawale market in Patiala. The two got involved into a heated argument with 65-year-old Gurnam Singh over a petty issue of car parking. Gurnam was accompanied by his nephew at the time of the incident. According to the prosecution, Sidhu, in a fit of rage dragged Gurnam out and gave him fisticuffs. Gurnam was rushed to the hospital but was declared brought dead by the doctors.

Sidhu and Sandhu were initially tried for Gurnam’s murder and acquitted by the Patiala Sessions Judge in 1999. The decision was challenged by Gurnam’s son and the state government in Punjab and Haryana High Court which had held Sidhu and Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide.

If Supreme Court upholds Sidhu’s conviction, his political career will come to an abrupt end as he would be disqualified for six years after his release from the jail.

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