‘Can graver charges be imposed’, SC seeks Sidhu’s response in road rage incident

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on a plea, filed by the kin of deceased, that he should be punished for an offence of more serious category than causing hurt, therefore leading to enhancement of punishment.

Sidhu has urged the apex court not to punish him with a jail term in a 1988 road rage case in which he was let off with a meagre fine of Rs 1,000.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing Gurnam Singh’s family, submitted that he has moved an application seeking enlargement of the scope of the notice issued. Luthra contended before a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and S.K. Kaul that a blow was delivered on the victim, and the death due to cardiac arrest is not correct. The bench asked, “You are asking for a review, then you are also asking for a whole review of the judgment…you want us to re-appreciate the evidence?”

The bench told Luthra that he cannot keep expanding the scope of the notice. Senior advocate P. Chidambaram, representing Sidhu, contended that to review the judgement after 4 years in respect of the incident, which took place in 1988 especially if the notice has been restricted, and the scope of review should not be enlarged. Citing the apex court judgment, Chidambaram added that the court came to a conclusion after analysing the evidence, and it is not a case where his client has caused the death of the deceased.

The bench clarified that notice was issued on circulation and not after hearing the parties. Chidambaram opposed any further examination of evidence against his client, contending that scope of review petition is very limited. After hearing arguments, the top court sought response from Sidhu and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The top court was hearing a review petition against its 2018 verdict which reduced the sentence of Sidhu to Rs 1,000 fine from 3-year imprisonment in a road rage incident in which a person died.


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