Navjot Singh Sidhu, a Congress leader and former Indian cricketer, has petitioned the Supreme Court for more time to surrender after being sentenced to one year in prison in a 1988 road rage case.
Mr. Sidhu was sentenced to one year of rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court on May 19, noting that any “undue sympathy” for an inadequate sentence would hurt the justice system and undermine public confidence in the rule of law.
Senior Counsel Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi raised the issue before Justice AM Khanwilkar, who presided over the court that gave the decision against Sidhu in the review case. Mr. Singhvi told the Court, “Of course, he will surrender shortly,” adding, “We want a few weeks to surrender, it is 34 years later, he wants to get his medical affairs in order.”
“You are free to file that application and bring it up before the Chief Justice.” We shall examine it if the Chief Justice forms that Bench today. If that Bench is not available, a new one must be formed. “A separate Bench was established for that purpose,” the Bench stated.
Mr. Singhvi stated that he will attempt to present the case before the Chief Justice.On Thursday, a panel of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul granted the review petition challenging the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision that lowered Sidhu’s sentence in the road rage case from three years in prison to a Rs1,000 fine.
The review was submitted by the son of the victim, who had reportedly died as a result of Sidhu and others’ physical abuse.
The prosecution claimed that in December 1988, the victim and the appellants, including Sidhu, had a heated argument over an appellants’ vehicle that was reportedly parked in the centre of the road.
According to the prosecution, the argument resulted in a physical assault on the victim, who was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The prosecution stated that Sidhu had fled the scene of the crime. The appellants were acquitted in 1999 by the trial court on the grounds that the victim’s death was caused by cardiac arrest rather than the assault’s injuries.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court overturned this acquittal in 2006, finding the appellants guilty of negligent homicide that did not amount to murder.