Navjot Singh Sidhu Updates: In a decades-old road rage case, India’s top court sentenced cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu to one year in prison. The Supreme Court decided in 1988 that Sidhu “deliberately inflicted harm” to Gurnam Singh, who died as a result of the incident. In 2018, the former MP was acquitted of the more serious allegation of manslaughter, which stands today.
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However, his political career has been severely harmed by his imprisonment. After his party was wiped out in state legislature elections, Sidhu resigned as the Congress party’s chief in Punjab. He has few legal alternatives remaining because he can only challenge the verdict once through a curative petition.
- In 2018, the former MP was acquitted of the more serious allegation of manslaughter, which stands today.
- However, despite the BJP’s massive victory in the 2014 general elections, he got disillusioned with the party after purportedly not receiving any major government job.
TIMELINE OF THE CASE.
In 1988, Sidhu was charged with manslaughter when a 65-year-old man died in Patiala after an argument with him. He was India’s opening batsman at the time, and his international cricket career was only getting started. The trial court continued to hear the case.
Sidhu was acquitted by the court in 1999. The state took his case to the top court, which found him guilty of manslaughter in 2006. This caused him to quit from his Amritsar parliamentary seat, as Indian law prohibits convicted individuals from holding public office. He took his case to the Supreme Court, which overturned the conviction and allowed him to reclaim his position in a by-election.
In 2018, the Supreme Court declared him not guilty of manslaughter but guilty of “hurting the victim” and ordered him to pay a fine of 1,000 rupees ($13; £10). The victim’s relatives filed an appeal, and the Supreme Court added a one-year sentence to the fine on Thursday.
NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU: WHO IS HE?
Sidhu is one of the most successful Test cricketers in India’s history. He was known for his stylish and powerful stroke play, which he used to dominate fast bowlers, but he could also play spin effectively. In 51 Test matches, he scored 3,202 runs at an average of 42.
He also scored 4,413 runs in 136 One-Day Internationals. After retiring from all forms of cricket in 1999, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and became an MP four years later. He progressed through the ranks of his party to become a famous leader and campaigner.
He went on to have a successful career as a cricket pundit and as a TV personality on comedy shows throughout the next decade. As a commentator, he became well-known for his funny and incisive approach. However, despite the BJP’s massive victory in the 2014 general elections, he got disillusioned with the party after reportedly not receiving any major government job.
He left the BJP in 2016 to join the Congress, where he progressed through the ranks to become the state unit’s chief in Punjab.