New Delhi: Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is set to walk out of Patiala jail today, 10 months after serving sentence in a road-rage incident in which a man was killed 34 years ago. A tweet from his official account this morning said that the 59-year-old cricketer-turned-politician will address the media outside jail around noon.
Will address the media outside patiala jail around noon..— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) April 1, 2023
On Friday, the Punjab Congress leader had put a tweet that he was informed by the “concerned authorities” that he will be released today.
Navjot Singh Sidhu was handed a one-year sentence in the road rage case and was due to be released in May, but is being released early on account of his “good behaviour”.
His lawyer HPS Verma told NDTV that the Congress leader is getting an early release under the state's general remission policy. "Navjot Sidhu's scheduled release was in May, but for all prisoners with good conduct, all Sunday holidays get deducted from the sentence period. Therefore, (Navjot) Sidhu is getting a 48-day remission," he said.
The Supreme Court had last year in May ordered one-year “rigorous imprisonment” for the 59-year-old politician following a petition by the family of a man who died after a brawl with Navjot Sidhu and his friend in 1988. The family had asked for a harsher sentence and a review of a 2018 order from the Supreme Court acquitting him of murder.
On December 27, 1988, Navjot Sidhu got into an argument with 65-year-old Gurnam Singh, a resident of Patiala, over a parking spot. Navjot Sidhu and his friend, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, allegedly dragged Gurnam Singh out of his car and hit him. He later died in a hospital.
Mr Sidhu was accused by an eyewitness of killing Gurnam Singh with a blow to the head.
The Supreme Court in 2018 ordered Mr Sidhu to pay a fine of ₹ 1,000 rupees for voluntarily hurting a person.
However, the court, reviewing its own order, said it considered it “appropriate” to jail Mr Sidhu, saying “some aggravated culpability” must be attached if a person dies.