Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is gearing up for a new political innings in Punjab after resigning from the Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday received a nasty bouncer from the Supreme Court. The Apex Court said Sidhu will face trial in case involving alleged wrongdoings during 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Significantly, this is not the first time that the former opening batsman finds himself into legal intricacies. He was convicted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a road rage case in 2006. Later, Sidhu appealed against the verdict in the Supreme Court, which suspended the High Court verdict on January 23 in 2007.
Notably, Sidhu and co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu were convicted by the high court under Section 304(II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in connection with the death of Patiala resident Gurnam Singh in a road-rage case in 1988. Now, an adverse verdict can seriously jeopardize his political career ahead of 2017 Punjab Assembly elections.
However, there was partial relief to Sidhu in the election petition case. The Supreme Court said the trial will go on in Punjab and Haryana High Court against Sidhu on only one charge. The Apex Court said that the trial will go on against Sidhu on the charges of appointing officers of his choice in the election constituency.
Sidhu, who won from Amritsar in 2009, is accused of violating the election expenditure cap of Rs 25 lakh. He has also been charged with getting 11 officers transferred after the election, a report said.