Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu today told the Supreme Court that the findings of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had awarded him three-year jail in a 1988 road rage case, were based on “opinion” and not on medical evidence.
Sidhu, who had quit the BJP and joined the Congress days before the Punjab assembly election last year, told a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S K Kaul that there were “deficiencies” in the medical evidence and the prosecution witnesses had given different statements on oath before the trial court.
“The findings (of the high court) were based on opinion and not on medical evidence. There was no rationale for this kind of an opinion,” senior advocate R S Cheema, appearing for Sidhu who is now Punjab’s Tourism Minister, told the bench. Ironically, on April 12, the Amarinder Singh government had favoured in the top court the high court’s verdict convicting and awarding the 3-year jail term to Sidhu.
The former cricketer argued that there was “ambiguity” regarding the actual cause of death of Patiala resident Gurnam Singh, who had died after he was allegedly given a fist blow by Sidhu. Referring to the statements of three prosecution witnesses before the trial court, Cheema said they had spoken in “different language”. He argued that a six-member board of medical experts was constituted to give their opinion on the cause of death ...