Putting an end to speculation of his likely release, former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said he will be released from jail on April 1, Saturday. He is lodged in jail in a road rage case dating back to 1988. According to media reports, Sidhu will be prematurely released for his good conduct.
After spending about 10 months in Patiala’s central jail, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is set to walk free on Saturday, according to his family and lawyer.
Sidhu’s son Karan, along with Sidhu’s security team, has reached Patiala Jail to pick him up. A tweet from his official account this morning said that the 59-year-old cricketer-turned-politician will address the media outside jail around noon.
“This is to inform everyone that Sardar Navjot Singh Sidhu will be released from Patiala Jail tomorrow. (As informed by the concerned authorities),” he said in a tweet ahead of his premature release.
The cricketer-turned-politician will walk out of the Patiala jail today as he nears completion of the Supreme Court-imposed one-year rigorous imprisonment in a 1988 road rage case.
On May 20 last year, Sidhu was sent to jail after he surrendered before a court in Patiala after being sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in the case.
Navjot Sidhu’s family has got an intimation from authorities regarding his release from the Patiala jail, his lawyer HPS Varma said on Friday, reported PTI.
His release is expected to come as a boost for the Punjab Congress, which has in the past several months seen exit of senior leaders, including Sunil Jakhar, and former ministers.
1988 ROAD RAGE CASE
Navjot Singh Sidhu was accused in a road rage incident in the year 1988. The case relates to the death of a man, Patiala resident Gurnam Singh, in December 1988 after Sidhu and a friend assaulted him.
On December 27, 1988, Sidhu and Rupinder Singh Sandhu allegedly parked their Gypsy in the middle of the road near the Sheranwala Gate crossing in Patiala. When the 65-year-old Gurnam Singh reached the spot in a car, he asked them to move aside.
Sidhu then beat up Singh. He also allegedly removed Singh’s car keys before fleeing so he couldn’t get medical help.
Several Congress leaders and Navjot Sidhu’s supporters are making preparations for giving him a grand welcome.
Congress leader and former MLA Navtej Singh Cheema said they will take Navjot Sidhu from the jail to his residence in Patiala after he is released. Leader of Opposition in the assembly Partap Singh Bajwa and party leader Laal Singh on Friday met Navjot Sidhu in the jail, he said.
Navjot Sidhu’s wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who had recently said that she has been diagnosed with stage two invasive cancer, also put out an emotional tweet on Friday.
She talked about “Navjot’s love for Punjab had driven him beyond the realm of any attachment”. Navjot Sidhu’s lawyer Varma said that “a convict with good behaviour is entitled for general remission of one day (Sunday) a week and it translates into 45 days of remission on March 31”.