Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday approached the Supreme Court seeking a few weeks’ time to surrender to undergo the sentence imposed on him in a 1988 road rage case.
The apex court had on Thursday imposed a sentence of one-year rigorous imprisonment on Sidhu in the case, saying any undue sympathy to impose an inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Sidhu, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar and said the former cricketer needed a few weeks to surrender.
“He will of course surrender shortly,” Singhvi told the bench, adding, “We want a few weeks to surrender. It is after 34 years. He wants to organise his medical affairs.”
The bench, also comprising Justice J B Pardiwala, told Singhvi that the judgement in the matter was passed by a special bench.
“You can file that application and mention it before the Chief Justice. If the Chief Justice constitutes that bench today, we will consider that. If that bench is not available, it will have to be constituted. A special bench was constituted for that matter,” the bench observed.
Singhvi said he will try to mention the matter before the Chief Justice.
The case summary
The road rage incident
On December 27, 1988, Sidhu and his friend — Rupinder Singh Sandhu — were in a Gypsy parked in the middle of the road near a gate crossing in Patiala, when the victim Gurnam Singh and two others were on the way to the bank to withdraw money. When Gurnam Singh driving a Maruti car saw the Gypsy on the middle of the road, he asked them to remove it. Sidhu and Sandhu reportedly got into a heated argument with him and allegedly dragged Gurnam out of his car and punched him. It is also alleged that he hit him on the head with a bat.
It is alleged that Sidhu “removed the key from the ignition of the car and fled the site after causing fatal injury to a vital part of the deceased’s body (i.e. head). Thus, ensuring that the deceased would not be able to get any medical aid”. Gurnam Singh had to be taken to the hospital in a man-pulled rickshaw and was declared brought dead on arrival.
Also Read: A road rage episode that caught up with Navjot Singh Sidhu