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Sidhu's conviction stayed

RELIEF: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu with BJP leader Arun Jaitley after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction and three-year sentence in a road rage death case in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sudhersha n

RELIEF: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu with BJP leader Arun Jaitley after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction and three-year sentence in a road rage death case in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sudhersha n  

BJP renominates him for Amritsar-2 Lok Sabha by-election

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the conviction and three-year sentence awarded to cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu in a road rage death case, paving the way for his contesting in the Amritsar-2 Lok Sabha byelection. The court said he had set "high standards" in public life by vacating the seat after the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling.

Soon afterwards, the BJP renominated him.

Observing that Mr. Sidhu would suffer "irreparable injury" if he was not able to contest the seat he vacated purely on moral grounds, a Bench comprising Justices G.P. Mathur and R.V. Raveendran said it was a fit case to suspend the order of conviction passed by the High Court.

After perusing the first information report (FIR) and a medical report, Mr. Justice Mathur, writing the judgment for the Bench, said: "These features of the case which touch upon the culpability of the appellant prima facie appear to be in his favour."

A jubilant Mr. Sidhu told reporters that he was now eligible to seek re-election.

"I had submitted to the majesty of the law and the Supreme Court has stayed my conviction and sentence. I am now eligible to contest the election," he said.

While considering the plea of the 43-year-old BJP leader, the Bench gave credence to the trial court findings. It observed that the 1988 Patiala incident happened all of a sudden without pre-meditation and it was not a case where he took advantage of his position as MP in the commission of the crime.

The Bench maintained that the FIR did not specifically mention that Mr. Sidhu dealt a blow to 65-year-old Gurnam Singh, nor did medical evidence conclusively establish that the victim died as a result of the blow in the head. PTI



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