New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The Punjab government on Thursday supported in the Supreme Court the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court convicting incumbent minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu in a three-decade-old road rage case.
A bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was informed by the Punjab government that 65 year-old Gurnam Singh had died after a fist blow from cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu.
The government said there was no evidence at all to suggest that Gurnam Singh died of cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage and trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The trial court at Patiala in Punjab had acquitted Sidhu and his cousin for beating up the victim and two others. The lower court had said medical report had stated that the victim died of a heart attack.
On appeal, the High Court had in 1999, overturned the lower court decision that the blow inflicted on the victim may have triggered the heart attack.
The High Court had said that Gurnam Singh did not die of cardiac arrest but by the injury on the temporal region. Sidhu was awarded three years in jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The High Court had suspended the sentence to enable Sidhu appeal in the Supreme Court.
The hearing in the appeal will continue.
The incident dates to December 27, 1988, when Sidhu and his cousin beat up the victim in what was described as a road rage case.