A day after the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 1998 road rage case, the local bodies minister on Friday said he was not consulted by the government before going to the Supreme Court.
A party leader backed the counsel's stand and said Congress government will not shield its ministers or MLAs like Yogi Adityanath government in UP.
The Supreme Court commenced hearing the final arguments in the case on Thursday, almost 30 years after the man died.
Counsel for the Punjab government told a bench of Justices comprising Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that the statement given by Sidhu denying his involvement in the case was false.More news: SC/ST ruling led to damage and disharmony
Sessions Court Judge of Patiala had on September 22, 1999, acquitted Sidhu and his associate, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, due to lack of evidence in the case.
The high court sentenced them to three-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts.
The state government counsel told the apex court that the victim had died after he was given fist blow by Sidhu.
"Though the government could not have taken any other stand in the apex court, other than what it had been taken in the trial and high court earlier, Sidhu deserved the court's consideration", said the Chief Minister, who is drawing flak for letting down his own minister. "Government is in a state of confusion". Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has always maintained that his government will not interfere in judicial matters and this case is an example the government always upholds the law.More news: Cohen attempting to prevent government from using materials seized during Federal Bureau of Investigation raid
The High Court said that Gurnam Singh did not die of cardiac arrest, but injury on the temporal region.
Concluding his arguments, Saron had said the trial court was wrong in its finding the man died of cardiac arrest and not brain hemorrhage. The High Court set aside the order in December 2006 and held them guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
In 2007, Sidhu appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court which suspended his sentence and consequently, enabled him to contest the Lok Sabha bypolls from Amritsar.More news: Mason Ramsey: Coachella Gets to Hear Yodeling Walmart Kid