The Truth Behind Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Road Rage And How It All Ended?

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Navjot Singh Sidhu is often known for his light-hearted humor, his witty repartees, and fabulous quotes which he presents in a charismatic fashion. The former Indian cricketer was a superhit commentator who later on switched roles and became a judge on many comedy based reality shows. But not many know about that one incident that changed Sidhu’s life forever. A road rage accident that threatened to derail his career altogether.

What exactly happened that day and what was argued in court?

On December 27, 1998, Navjot Sidhu and his friend, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, had entered into an argument with the victim, Gurnam Singh, over parking space in Patiala. The two allegedly dragged Gurnam out of his car and hit him. He died soon after. The prosecution in the court had argued that Sidhu and co-convict Rupinder Singh Sandhu were allegedly present in a Maruti Gypsy parked near Sheranwala Gate crossing in Patiala on the said day, while the victim, Gurnam Singh, was on his way to a bank in a Maruti car with two others.

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The moment Gurnam asked the Gypsy occupants to give them the way, the two beat him up before escaping from the scene. Gurnam was declared dead after he was rushed to a hospital. Sidhu and Sandhu were initially tried for murder, and the trial court in September 1999 acquitted the cricketer-turned-politician. However, the High Court reversed the verdict and held them guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

What did Navjot Sidhu do then? Did he accept the High Court’s verdict?

The famous cricketer-turned-politician, Sidhu did not give up post the High Court’s verdict. He along with his friend, Sandhu then approached the Supreme Court of India. And luckily for Sidhu, in 2007, the Supreme Court suspended Navjot Sidhu’s sentence and granted him bail in this matter. The bench which passed the judgement comprised justices J. Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

In the closing verdict, the judge’s bench let Sidhu off with a meagre fine of Rs 1,000. He had to pay this small little penalty in charge of voluntarily causing hurt under the Indian Penal Code. This verdict came as a major relief for Navjot Singh Sidhu as he was staring at a three-year jail term for beating a man to death. Was justice meted out? We aren’t sure. But is a penalty of Rs. 1000 fair against someone who knowingly harms another person. This is surely debatable.

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