The Supreme Court, on Thursday, imposed a one-year jail sentence on the former president of the Punjab Congress, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was involved in a 1988 road rage incident, where Patiala resident Gurnam Singh died. 

Earlier the court had let him off with a Rs 1,000 fine. Justices A M Khanwilkar and S K Kaul, who made up the Bench, rejected the plea to fasten culpable homicide that didn’t amount to murder, under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on Sidhu. 

Timeline of events 

December 27, 1988: FIR is lodged against Navjot Singh Sidhu and Rupinder Sandhu for allegedly beating a man up after he’d asked him to remove the car from the middle of a Patiala road. The man later died in a hospital. 

July 14, 1989: The Punjab police files a charge sheet under section 304 of IPC against Sandhu. 

July 22, 1989: A separate murder complaint is filed against Sandhu as well as Sidhu.

September 25, 1990: A trial court in Patiala draws up charges against Sidhu for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. 

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August 30, 1993: A Sessions court exercises its power invoking section 319 of CrPC (adding additional accused). Sidhu is summoned to stand trial. 

September 22, 1999: Sidhu is acquitted of murder charges by the trial court. 

December 1, 2006: The trial court verdict is overturned by the Punjab and Haryana HC, who find Sidhu and Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. They are sentenced to three years in jail and have to pay Rs 1 lakh fine, each. Sidhu resigned as the BJP MP from Amritsar after that. 

January 23, 2007: Supreme Court stays the conviction of Sidhu and the co-accused, allowing the former to contest the by-poll for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. 

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April 12, 2018: Punjab government sought Sidhu’s conviction at the Supreme Court. 

Apr 18, 2018: Supreme Court reserves the verdict on Sandhu and Sidhu’s appeals, against the High Court verdict. 

May 15, 2018: Supreme Court dismisses Sidhu’s jail term, but finds him guilty of voluntarily causing hurt. A fine of Rs 1,000 is imposed. 

May 19, 2022: Supreme Court imposes one-year rigorous imprisonment on Sidhu over the three-decade-old case.